Ipoh (Malaysia), Apr 14: The loss to New Zealand complicating matters for them, an inconsistent India will take on Malaysia in a do-or-die battle to secure a final berth in their final league fixture of the 25th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament here tomorrow. India, who have been unimpressive so far except for the 5-1 victory over arch-rivals Pakistan, need to pull off a victory against Malaysia tomorrow to ensure their place in the final match of the tournament, which they have won five times and were bronze medallists last year.Also Read - International Flights: Air India Announces Flights to Maldives, Malaysia From India From THIS Date | Full Schedule, Ticket Prices

World champions Australia have already qualified for the final to be played on Saturday with 15 points from five successive wins. India have had an edge in past encounters against Malaysia, who will, however, draw inspiration from their 3-2 win over the Asian Games champions during last year’s Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at the same venue. In the last meeting between these two teams, India shattered Malaysia’s hopes of qualifying for the Olympic Games by winning 3-2 in last year’s World League Semifinals at Antwerp (Belgium).(Also Read: New Zealand outplays India in a keenly fought Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2016 match) Also Read - SL vs IND 2021: Second T20I Postponed After Krunal Pandya Tests Positive For Covid-19

Avenging that loss will be on Malaysia’s mind, although they have faint hopes of qualifying for the final after being held to a draw by Canada two days ago. The hosts need to defeat India by seven goals to earn a place in the final. A victory over India will enable Malaysia to equal New Zealand’s points tally as well as the goal-difference, but the home team will be ahead in goals scored. Otherwise, they can only aspire for a bronze medal. The tussle for the second spot in the league standings, which will earn a title encounter with Australia, is between India and defending champions New Zealand. Also Read - International Flights: After Emirates, Now Etihad Airways Suspends Flight Services From India to UAE Till July 31

New Zealand, after their 2-1 victory over India yesterday, moved into the second place as they finished their six league outings with 11 points, while India are on nine points from five matches. India’s task of clinching a place in the title match is simpler. They just need a victory tomorrow to finish above New Zealand, who will then have to play for the bronze medal. India raised the level of their game to post a 5-1 victory over Pakistan on Tuesday, but their performance slackened a bit the following day against New Zealand as they lost 1-2 in extremely hot and humid afternoon conditions.(Image credis: Hockey India(Facebook))