Defending Champions India went down fighting by 4-3 against last year’s finalists Great Britain in the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup 2015 in a well contested match.
It was an important match for both the teams as, while Great Britain was looking at settling scores with India for their Finale loss to them last year, India was looking at registering their second consecutive win in the tournament post their convincing win against Pakistan yesterday. Trailing the game by 2-3 at the end of the first half, Great Britain kept its nerves to come back into the game and win by 4-3.
As was expected both the teams started with great speed as each wanted to stamp the initial goal in their name. It was Great Britain who in the 6th minute saw James Simpson score through a field effort, giving Great Britain the lead of 1-0. In the 10th minute, Great Britain were awarded a penalty corner but was saved by the Indian goalie. India maintain their attack over Great Britain and in the 17th minute witnessed Varun Kumar from the right flank trying to enter the D and seeing Sumit Kumar standing right in front of goal box passed the ball to him. But Great Britain Captain Luke Taylor intervened the pass but unfortunately he could not stop it cleanly and Sumit Kumar immediately pounced on the miss and flicked the ball into the nets. The goal allowed India to equalise the game at 1-1. This got the Indians to increase their tempo of the game and Sumit Kumar scored yet another superb field goal in the 26th minute taking the lead and scorecard to 2-1.
Not wanting to lose the hold in the match, India were seen attacking the opponents D and in the 29th minute saw India increase the score difference further, as this time it was Manpreet who beat the Great Britain goalkeeper to put the ball into the goal box. Now trailing the game by 1-3, the very next minute Great Britain had a chance on a penalty corner and this time Luke Taylor was on target and the scorecard read 2-3 in favour of India. Two minutes left for the first half to end, Great Britain looking at the equaliser had another go through a penalty corner but a vigilant Indian defence yet again thwarted the opponents attempt to score. With this the first half ended in India’s favour at 3-2.
Right into the second half India had a go through a penalty corner but was saved by the opponents goalkeeper. This was followed by Great Britain being given a penalty corner and Luke Taylor hit it hard but was cleared by the Indian goalie, however Great Britain scored on the rebound though Jack Clee who helped his team to equalise the game at 3-3 in the 47th minute. Half way into the session India had an opportunity to go one up through a penalty corner but the ball was hit wide of the goal box. When the match looked like getting drawn, Great Britain in the 68th minute scored through a penalty corner and went on to win the game 4-3.
India will face Argentina in the next first match of the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup on 14th October 2015 at 16.05 IST.