Johor Bahru, Malaysia, 18 October 2014: The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team defeated Australia 6-2 in their last league match to set-up the final of 4th Sultan of Johor Cup 2014 against Great Britain at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
With their fourth win from five league matches, Defending champions India have booked their place in the final of the tournament and will take on Great Britain who handed over India their only defeat in the tournament till now. The final will be played on 19 October 2014 at 1800 IST.
India Junior Team started the match with constant attacking moves and surprised their opponents with their highly aggressive game, which tore-apart the Australian defensive line in the first few minutes. With repeated attacks, India earned their first penalty corner in the 6th minute, which was converted into a goal by Harmanpreet Singh who scored the hat-trick against Malaysia in the previous match. Indian colts scored their second goal just after three minutes (9th minute) through forward player Parvinder Singh who superbly reflected a pass towards the box giving India a 2-0 lead.
The third goal came in the 19th minute when the Indian players outfoxed the Australian defenders and seeing a chance, midfielder Simranjeet Singh sent the ball into the net by diving down, taking the lead 3-0. By the 23rd minute, India were 4-0 ahead of Australia after forward Pawan Kumar sneaked into to opponents’ defence and directed a brilliant pass into the net for their fourth goal.
In the 25th minute, Australia earned a penalty corner, which was converted by Brandan Horner into their first goal of the match. However, after two minutes (27th minute), the Indians earned another penalty corner, which was improperly stopped by Australian defenders. The Referee awarded a penalty stroke to India and Harmanpreet Singh left no room for Australian goalkeeper Ashleigh Thomas and scored the teams fifth goal of the match. By half-time, India was ahead of Australia by 5-1.
In the 2nd half, both India and Australia came on the field with better strategies, but it was India who earned a penalty corner successfully in the 44th minute. Defender Harmanpreet Singh scored his second hat-trick in the tournament by converting the penalty corner into India’s sixth goal, taking the score to 6-1. In the 64th minute, Australia also earned a penalty corner and Brandan Horner successfully converted it into his second goal of the match, taking the scorecard at 6-2.
By the final whistle, India registered a thumping victory over Australia by 6-2 with the help of Man of Match Harmanpreet Singh, who scored his second hat-trick and total seven goals in the U-21 tournament. India will now face Great Britain in the final match on 19 October 2014.
Commenting on the victory against Australia, Coach Harendra Singh said, “This was our best match of the tournament till now as we played extremely brilliant today. Boys showcased amazing team-work and maintained domination against a tough team like Australia in the match. They successfully controlled their aggression and emotions through-out the game, and that yielded an awesome result for us. Each player played their part beautifully and because this single-unit mindset, they managed to score five goals in the first half. With this marvelous victory, we are very much confident against Great Britain now and we are looking forward to defend our title in the tournament.“
The match will be telecasted live on Star Sports 1 at 18:00 hrs (IST).