Indian colts down Australia

India began on an attacking note, but Australia played a strong defensive game, denying their opponents any chance to score as the first half ended goalless. An error from the Australian half in the 42nd minute resulted in a penalty stroke to India and Harmanpreet Singh made no mistake in converting the opportunity to give his side the lead.

Harmanpreet Singh (in red) scored the all-important goal for India. (File Picture)   -  Vivek Bendre

Defending champion India defeated Australia 1-0 in their last league match to enter the final of the fifth Sultan of Johor Cup junior men’s hockey tournament on Saturday. India will take on Great Britain in the title clash on Sunday.

India began on an attacking note, but Australia played a strong defensive game, denying their opponents any chance to score as the first half ended goalless. An error from the Australian half in the 42nd minute resulted in a penalty stroke to India and Harmanpreet Singh made no mistake in converting the opportunity to give his side the lead.

“It’s great to finish the league matches on a winning note. It wasn’t an easy game and we played against a tough team. The boys are confident of defending the title for the third consecutive time and I hope to witness some top quality hockey tomorrow from both the teams,” said coach Harendra Singh.

Great Britain are unbeaten in the tournament so far with three wins and two draws. India topped the points table with 12 points from four wins and a loss to Great Britain earlier in the tournament. Sumit Kumar and Harmanpreet Singh, with three goals each, are the top scorers for India so far.