Mumtaz Khan scored a hat-trick as the Indian women's hockey team beat Malaysia 4-0 to maintain their unbeaten record in the FIH Junior World Cup on Tuesday.
Already assured of a quarterfinal berth before Tuesday's tie, India scored four field goals - three by Mumtaz (10th, 26th, 59th minutes) and one by Sangita Kumari (11th). They will now face South Korea in the quarterfinals on Friday.
India, thus, finished on top of Pool D with maximum nine points from three wins out of as many matches. They had earlier defeated Wales 5-1 before getting the better of formidable Germany 2-1 in their first two pool games.
Their confidence on a different level after ensuring a knock-out berth, India completely dominated the proceedings and created a flurry of chances from the word go.
Their efforts bore fruit in the 10th minute when Mumtaz scored from close range after the ball fell before her sticks after ricocheting from a Malaysian defender. India doubled their lead a minute later when Sangita coolly deflected home from a Lalrindiki cross.
India continued to press hard and secured two penalty corners in quick succession but both the efforts went in vain.
In the 26th minute, Mumtaz struck again to hand India 3-0 lead at half time. Lalrindiki had an excellent outing as she not only created scoring chances for India but also threatened the Malaysian goal on a number of occasions.
With 10 minutes to go, Malaysia secured two penalty corners but India's goalkeeper Khusboo came up with excellent saves to deny any inroads to their opponents.
India earned their seventh penalty corner soon but this time Malaysian goalkeeper AB Mashitah made a fine save with her stick. They extended their lead a minute from the final hooter through Mumtaz, who scored her third goal.