India’s junior men’s team beat Pakistan 6-5 in penalty shootout (3-3 draw in regulation time) to finish its campaign with a bronze medal at the Sultan of Johor Cup on Saturday.
Defending champion India bounced back from its 3-6 loss to Germany in the semifinals, defeating Pakistan to clinch its ninth medal in 11 editions of the under-21 tournament.
India led 1-0 at half-time courtesy an 11th-minute strike from Arun Sahani. Sufyan Khan scored the equaliser for Pakistan in the 33rd minute but CB Poovanna restored the Indian Colts’ lead nine minutes later.
Abdul Qayyum brought Pakistan back into the match with a field goal in the 50th minute. Indian captain Uttam Singh seemed to have scored the winning goal for his side two minutes later. However, for the third time in the match, Pakistan found the equaliser with skipper Hannan Shahid scoring from a Penalty Corner.
At the end of regulation time, the two teams finished at 3-3 in a repeat of their group-stage opener.
In the penalty shootout, both teams scored in the first four attempts. Pakistan’s Murtaza Yaqoob became the first player to miss the target but Amandeep failed to close the match as Pakistan’s goalkeeper Ali Raza easily saved his first shot before the Indian send the rebound wide, sending the shootout to sudden death.
In sudden death, India took the first shot with Vishnukant Singh successfully beating Raza to find the back of the goal post. Pakistan’s Arshad Liaqat kept his team in the match by levelling the score. However, in the sixth round, Indian goalkeeper saved Shahid’s attempt to seal the win for coach CR Kumar’s side after Angad Bir Singh put the Indian Colts ahead.
Germany takes on Australia in the final.
The Uttam Singh-led side will next be in action at the FIH Junior World Cup, which will be played in Kuala Lumpur from December 5 to 16.
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