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Malaysians happy with one point against India

Written by: Staff

Melbourne, Mar 17 (UNI) The relief on Mohammad Amin Rahim's face was visible even to those sitting in the stands because the Malaysian defender knew he had a lucky break when his penalty stroke whizzed through the pads of a diving Indian goalkeeper Bharat Chettri in the 20th minute of the match today.

That goal gave Malaysia a 1-0 lead but it was an advantage they could not hold on to as Sandeep Singh equalised eight minutes into the second half.

''I didn't strike the ball as cleanly as I wanted. I tried to angle it to Bharat's left but somehow, it went towards the centre,'' said Amin.

''My heart was in my mouth in that split second but horror turned to joy when I saw the ball go through his pads. If he had kept his legs closed, he could have saved the ball,'' he added.

Despite living up to his promise of scoring a goal in every match, Amin was far from satisfied with his performance.

''I slipped during our first penalty corner and the second one was not as accurate as I wanted it to be so it wasn't a problem for Bharat,'' he explained.

''I hope to make amends when we play Trinidad and Tobago tomorrow.'' Team manager Nur Azmi Ahmad, meanwhile, praised goalkeeper Mohammad Nasihin Nubli.

The custodian made several brilliant saves and although he could have done better in keeping out Sandeep's attempt, that was the only blemish on an otherwise flawless performance.

''Nasihin kept them out time and time again. To me, he was our Man-of-the-Match,'' said Azmi.

''Although we had the better of the first half, India came at us in the second half and were rewarded with their equalizer. Overall, I'm happy with the one point, although a win would most definitely have been better.'' UNI HSB PM VC1035

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