The Indian junior men’s hockey team qualified for the final of Sultan of Johor Cup after finishing second in the round robin stage. They will be meeting Australia in the final on Saturday.
For India, Poovanna CB (7’), Amandeep (50’), Araijeet Singh Hundal (53’) and Sharda Nand Tiwari (56’, 58’) were the scorers, while Great Britain’s Max Anderson (1’, 40’), Harrison Stone (42’) and Jami Golden (54’, 56’) were on target.
Defending Champions Great Britain were out of the blocks faster than India, with Max Anderson (1’) scoring the first goal of the game, early on. A few minutes later, India got on the score board too, with midfielder Poovanna CB (7’) finding the back of the net. The pacy and evenly contested first quarter ended with the score at 1-1.
The second quarter saw both the teams continue to match each other play for play, with neither allowing the other a way through. The match, which is a repeat of the Final from the 2018 and 2019 editions, went into the half-time break with Great Britain and India all square at 1-1.
With both teams chasing the win, it was India who had an early look at goal, when they won a penalty corner in the 32 nd minute, but weren’t able to convert. Nonetheless, it was Great Britain who edged ahead, five minutes before the end of the quarter, as Max Anderson (40’) scored his second of the game. A couple of minutes later, Harrison Stone (42’) added another for Great Britain as they took control of the game, ending the quarter 3-1 ahead.
India needed a strong final quarter, and began the final phase on the front foot. Five minutes in, India halved the deficit as Amandeep (50’) got himself on the scoresheet. Shortly after, the contest was back on level terms with Araijeet Singh Hundal (53’) scored India’s third. Great Britain, however, went through gears in the next few minutes with Jami Golden (54’, 56’) restoring the two-goal advantage.
Sharda Nand Tiwari’s (56’) penalty corner brought India right back into the game. A couple of minutes later, Tiwari converted another penalty corner, levelling scores at 5-5. Neither side could find a winner and walked away with a point each.
With this draw, India will remain second in the round-robin league standings with eight points, while Britain will remain third with seven points.
For India to enter the finals, Japan will need to draw or lose to Malaysia, while South Africa, who will face Australia has to draw or lose the final robin league match.
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