What was expected to be a great final, it has now turned out to be third place deciding match in Asian Games hockey as both India and Pakistan lost their respective semi-final match in Jakarta on Thursday.
Malaysia came from behind twice to hold India 2-2 in stipulated time before stunning the defending champions by 6-7 goals in penalty shootout.
It was considered to be one of the biggest upset in the Asian Games given the form India carried into the semi-final by scoring as many as 76 goals in their previous five matches.
As if it was not enough for the Games, Japan produced an even bigger upset by beating eight-time champions Pakistan 1-0 in the second semi-final hours later.
An 18th minute strike of Shota Yamada from penalty corner was enough for Japan to seal the win and book their place in the final for the first time. Malaysia and Japan will now face off in the final on Saturday while sub-continental rivals India and Pakistan have been relegated to third place deciding match on the same day.
It will be only second final in the Asian Games history without anyone of India or Pakistan with South Korea and China setting up the first instance in 2006.
The qualification of Malaysia and Japan in the final also ensured a new gold medallist in Asian Games hockey as none one these two teams won it previously.
Before the current edition, Malaysia qualified for the final only once, which they lost to Pakistan in Guangzhou in 2010.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Miscellany