THE National players did everything right, except score as they went down 1-0 to New Zealand in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yesterday.
The defeat will see them play for the fifth-sixth placing.
Malaysia wasted four penalty coreners by half-time, while the Kiwis only needed one to take the lead.
Kane Russel made it count in the 25th minute and Malysia were in trouble again.
Malaysia played two Test matches against New Zealand a week before the tournament and won 8-3 and drew 3-3.
But when it mattered most, they lost 1-0.
Australia virtually booked a spot in the final when they beat Britain 2-1. They only have Japan to play on Friday, and are the raging favourites for three points.
In the first match of the day, Mandeep Singh saved India the blushes with a hat-trick as the World No 6 came back twice to beat a disciplined Japan 4-3 in a nail-biting match.
India coach Roelant Oltmans said: "We started off really good and kept on attacking, putting too much pressure and Japan was also quick in the counter attacks. It was a really fast pace game and the two were coming from both ends.
"In the second half we changed the tactics and had more control of the game but unfortunately we could not score. The fourth quarter was great and that gave us more options in our breakaways. Mandeep and Sardar played exceptionally well.
"Mandeep is young and very fit. He can score goals from angles you would least expect. Sometimes it is hard to understand him."
Japan coach Takahiko Yamabori was visibly upset because his charges were leading 3-2 before collapsing.
"I am most upset with this defeat. We had a good chance to beat India after taking the lead twice. But on the other hand, I am happy with the attitude of my players for giving their best against India.
"We will continue to build this team for the World League Semi-finals and I believe we are heading right direction. The scores are important but how the teams plays is far more important."
RESULTS: Japan 3 India 4, Britain 1 Australia 2, Malaysia 0 New Zealand 1.
THURSDAY: REST DAY
FRIDAY: Britain v New Zealand (4pm), Australia v Japan (6pm), Malaysia v India (8.35pm).
P W D L F A Pts
AUSTRALIA 4 3 1 0 12 4 10
INDIA 4 2 1 1 10 8 7
BRITAIN 4 2 1 1 9 7 7
N ZEALAND 4 2 1 1 5 6 7
JAPAN 4 0 1 3 9 13 1
MALAYSIA 4 0 1 3 2 9 1