Malaysia put up a good performance against world No. 10 Spain before losing 3-1 in a Group B match of the women's World Hockey League Semi-Finals in Brussels, Belgium on Thursday.
Even as the first raid from India was awaited, Malaysia forced two more penalty corners in the space of two minute during the second quarter and converted both to surge into a 2-0 lead.
However, if Pakistan fails to qualify for the world cup it will have to win the Asian Hockey Champions Trophy, which will be held in India later this year.
Argentina, Malaysia, Holland and England being the semi-finalist teams of the league have qualified for the World Cup.
The Indians, who were inconsistent throughout the tournament, should take the loss as a lesson and work on their mistakes. India had won all but one match it had played in the group stages. For Pakistan, it is a ideal opportunity to exact revenge and rub salt into Indian wounds but we expect India to have enough fuel in the tank to see off the challenge.
For India, it is their second defeat against Malaysia in little less than two months, having lost 0-1 to them at the Azlan Shah Cup last month.
A loss would be disastrous for Indian hockey, which has seen an upward trend over the last few years.
Mirco Pruijser chipped in with two goals, while Robbert Kemperman, Jonas de Geus, Billy Bakker, Bjorn Kellerman and Tristan Algera all got on the scoresheet in a rampant display from the Dutch team. They came out of their defensive mould quite often forcing four penalty corners in the first half.
The Indians need to get off the blocks early and take control of the proceedings and it's high time the backline, their perennial problem, pull up their socks and take responsibility. India's goals came from the sticks of Ramandeep Singh (24th, 26th).
Though India are ranked higher, Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans's men must guard themselves against complacency when they square off with Malaysia who can be a "tricky opponent".