The loss didn't make any difference to India's participation in this year's Hockey World League Final and next World Cup as being the hosts they are already assured of a place in the two events.
Malaysia started out strong as they raked in their first goal at the third minute when Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani converted a penalty corner. A minute later, Tengku Tajuddin doubled the score with another successful PC conversion.
India however shook off the starting jitters with a better performance in the later part of the second quarter. India went all guns blazing in Q3 but Malaysia defended well and frustrated the Indian forward. This spectacular goal narrowed India's gap to 1-2.
India's goals came from Ramandeep Singh (24th, 26th minutes).
Head coach Stephen Van Huizen, who was pleased to have achieved the first objective of the tournament, which is to advance to the quarterfinals, said his side will take a different approach when facing world number six, India Thursday, in the knockout phase.
With the score board reading 2-2 at half-time, the third quarter began with India trying to keep up their momentum. Harmanpreet Singh once again had an off-day, taking short corners with soft hands. There were too many balls that were being crashed in with hope rather than imagination, which meant the individual skills of players like Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, SV Sunil and Talwinder Singh were not utilised often enough. Malaysia won a PC when Najmi Jazlan found defender Surender Kumar's foot in the circle.
Two minutes later, Malaysia earned another penalty corner but this time Dahiya failed to keep Razie Rahim's flick out.
Ramandeep's sense of positioning saw him scoring India's first goal. They will know that India's defence would be low on confidence following the defeat to Malaysia, and they will try and create as many set-pieces as possible to push India back further.