India fell battling against Malaysia in the men's hockey semifinal © AFP
The defending champion, India, came out of the men's Asian hockey competition after a heartbreaking 6-7 loss to low-ranked Malaysia by a tiebreaker in Thursday's semi-finals. The match went into a tiebreaker and then a sudden death after both teams were blocked 2-2 after the 60 minute regulation. It was a lackluster performance by the Indian title favorite, who scored a record 76 goals in the group stages against unwanted opponents. The Indian defenders seemed completely wrong, they made silly mistakes to allow Malaysia to return to the party after taking the lead twice. India converted two of their six penalty corners through Harmanpreet Singh (33 minutes) and Varun Kumar (40 minutes). Malaysia's goals came from the poles of Faizal Saari (24th) and Muhammad Razie Rahim (59th minute).
In the tiebreaker, India was a waste since only Akashdeep Singh and Harmanpreet scored, while Indian captain PR Sreejesh inflicted three good ransoms to deny the Malaysians and lead the game to a sudden death. In sudden death, the Indians played to catch up and the Malaysians were clinical with their efforts. Finally, SV Sunil failed on the fifth attempt, giving Malaysia a famous victory and crushing the title hopes of India and a direct entry into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.