20:45 (IST) So goals from Raghunath and Mandeep help India beat Malaysia 2-0 and book a final against Korea on Sunday. With this win India also secure a spot in the FIH World Cup in 2014 in The Hague. Winning the Asia Cup is inconsequential now for India. (Read Match Report)
20:40 (IST) Malaysia fail to convert two penalty corners in the final minute and India seal the match 2-0 after full time.
20:31 (IST)Goal! Mandeep makes it 2-0 in 60th minute. Wonderful rally by Rupinderpal and Ramandeep, finally executed by Mandeep, going past the Malaysian goalie S Kumar.
20:26 (IST) Malaysians finding it very hard to break the Indian defence. On the other hand, India forwards Mandeep and Malak are testing the hosts' D.
20:22 (IST) Both teams lacking precision in the midfield. Although, the defence is a lot tighter, especially by the goalkeepers.
20:15 (IST) Excellent save by Sreejesh to his right in the 47th minute, thwarting Malaysia's chance of converting a disputed penalty corner.
20:00 (IST)India's World Cup qualification explained: Only three more World Cup spots are up for grabs as nine teams have already secured their berths. And India and Malaysia more or less can heave a sigh of relief now as both the teams have almost booked their places for the mega-event along side South Korea, who took the eighth berth after Argentina won the Pan American Cup recently. Even if they fail to win at Ipoh, India and Malaysia would officially secure their World Cup berths after the end of the Oceania Championships, which either Australia or New Zealand is expected to win. Since both the Aussies and the Kiwis have already qualified for the World Cup, the slots will now go to India and Malaysia.
19:54 (IST) It's half-time at Ipoh. India lead by the 8th minute goal scored from a penalty corner by Raghunath. The Malaysians have defended well with their goalie Kumar rising to the occasion a couple of times.
19:51 (IST) India waste their second penalty corner in the 32nd minute. Sardar injected the ball and Rupinderpal did well with the push but the Malaysian goalie Kumar Subramanium responded very well by tipping the ball over.
19:41 (IST) Lot of flank play by the Indians. Mandeep has been very pacy on the right. Ten minutes remain in the first half. Both teams have equal possession. India lead by the 8th minute goal by Raghunath.
19:31 (IST) The Malaysian goal survives a scare in the 14th minute. The Indians are attacking through the centre but the Malaysians, backed by a partisan crowd, are defending well.
19:26 (IST)Goal! India make it 1-0 in the 8th minute from their first penalty corner. Raghunath with a perfect top of the net finish after Dharamvir injected the push. It's been an up and down game so far.
19:17 (IST) Two changes in Indian team. Manpreet and Mandeep Singh are back in the starting XI. It's a packed house at Stadium Azlan Shah. Tomorrow is Malaysia's Independence Day. Amazing atmosphere at Ipoh.
19:12 (IST) India can afford to relax tonight against Malaysia. By beating Pakistan in the semis, the Koreans have done India a great favour. India WILL NOW be in the World Cup next year.
18:44 (IST) This will be the first time in 42 years that Pakistan will miss playing a World Cup. The Koreans had already qualified for the World Cup. The India vs Malaysia second semifinal coming up in about 30 minutes.
18:30 (IST) Pakistan lose to Korea in the first semifinal. Pakistan lost 2-1 against the defending champions in a hard-fought game. This means Pakistan's World Cup dreams end here. This will be the first time Pakistan will not be in a World Cup.
Brimming with confidence after three consecutive wins, India will have to guard against complacency when they take on hosts Malaysia, a side which is capable of springing up surprises, in the semifinal of the ninth Asia Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh today.
Unlike their opponents, the Indians will be high on confidence after securing their semifinal berth with an unbeaten record. The Sardar Singh-led side spanked debutants Oman 8-0, followed by wins over defending champions South Korea (2-0) and Bangladesh (9-1) to top Pool B.
Malaysia, on the other hand, finished second in Pool A after they won against Chinese Taipei and Japan but lost to Pakistan in their Pool A engagements.
India, who never missed out on a World Cup berth since the tournament's introduction in 1971, will like to avoid the repeat of yet another debacle after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the Indian team had failed to qualify for the first time in the history of the game.
Having played Malaysia on numerous occasions, the Indians, who start as favourites, know very well that the hosts on their given day can upset top teams of the world. Read full preview.
India's goal-keeping coach aims to set higher standards
He is still unsure whether he will continue if given a longer run, but goalkeeping coach Dave Staniforth has set his goals clear -- to try and make Indian custodians the best in the world in this short period of time.
The 37-year-old former South African hockey player was appointed as the goalkeeping coach and strategic analyst of India's senior and junior men's teams only last month and has been given a short-term contract till the FIH Junior World Cup to be held in New Delhi later this year.
But having already worked in India with the inaugural Hockey India League champions Ranchi Rhinos, Staniforth is quite familiar with the goalkeeping scenario in the country and has set his priorities clear. Read more.
A 9-1 win not enough for Roelant Oltmans
India might have routed a lowly Bangladesh 9-1, but interim coach Roelant Oltmans is still not satisfied with his wards and wants the team to reach its peak in the remaining matches of the Asia Cup hockey tournament, here.
Penalty corner exponents Rupinderpal Singh and V R Raghunath slammed a hat-trick each as India mauled Bangladesh on Wednesday to register their third win on the trot in Pool B but Oltmans said the match against the minnows was not the best performance by his side at the eight-nation tournament.
"I think we can raise our level in the coming matches. I don't think the players also were completely happy with their performance. In certain parts of the game they were happy but in certain parts of the game we did not show consistency," Oltmans said. Read more.