23 October, 2017
Indian team with Hero Asia Cup 2017.
If India win today, they will reach the final of the Asia Cup. India progressed to the final following a thumping 4-0 win over arch-rivals Pakistan in their final second-round clash.
With three matches remaining, Malaysia needs to finish among the top two teams in the group to qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates in 2019 from January 5 to February 1.
India continued to dominate the possession in the first quarter as Malaysia failed to produce any good opportunities.
The national players were placed in a tight spot in the third minute itself, when Ramandeep Singh scored the opening goal, and the ghost of the 6-2 drubbing in the round robin soon emerged. They looked a threat for India in the second quarter too and came close to goal a few times.
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After the break, Malaysia led by forward Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin launched several raids but their efforts were denied by the stout Indian defence.
Contrary to the result, the Indians were slow to get off the blocks, while Pakistan was the better side in terms of possession in the first two quarters. In the end, the defensive skills displayed by India were enough for them to clinch the title after a gap of 10 years.
India increased the margin to 2-0 when Lalit Upadhyay scored the goal in the 29th minute.
The Malaysian team coach, Stephen van Huizen, said, "India is a tough opponent ranked much higher than us". Malaysia, on the other hand, after playing out a 1-1 draw against South Korea made it to the final.