Indian U-21 team defeated Great Britain to win the Sultan of Johor 2014 Cup, and become the first team to win the title twice after retaining the title. The victory coming after the Gold medal in Asian Games 2014 and Silver medal in Commonwealth Games 2014 gives hopes of the rise of Indian Hockey towards the top level. Hermanpreet Singh emerged as the highest goal scorer of the tournament. Australia and Malaysia also won their classification matches today.
Indians Progress to Final
India reached the finals with emphatic wins in the last two matches. But, they had lost the group stage match to Great Britain which routed almost all the teams, including India at the group stage. Unfortunately for them, the only defeat they sufferred in the tournament came at the final.
Indian Squad for the Tournament
Captains and Goalkeepers
- Captain: Harjeet Singh
Vice Captain: Imran Khan
Goalkeeper: Abhinav Pandey, Vishal
Squad by Position
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Anand Lakra, Varun Kumar, Gurinder Singh
Midfielders: Santa Singh, Sumit, Harjeet Singh, SH. Nilkantha Sharma, Simranjeet Singh
Forwards: Imran Khan, Parvinder Singh, Pawan Kumar, Aarman Qureshi, Sumit Kumar
Indian youngsters appeared subdued in the first half but good defence and exemplary goalkeeping skills from Abhinav helped them end th efirst half without conceding any goal. They could not score any goal too. None of the teams could earn a penalty corner too. Even in their match at group stage that India lost both the teams had earned no penalty corners.
In the second half, right from the start Indian forwards started attacking and it soon resulted in the first penalty corner of the match. Hermanpreet Singh scored a clean hit to take India to 1-0 lead in the 45th minute. With the goal he became the joint highest scorer of the tournament too.
Britain started increasing the attacks and 10 minutes later, Samuel French converted their first penalty corner to make the scores level at 1-1 in the 55th minute. From there on Great Britain started plaing the way they had during the group stage. But defenders and Indian goalkeeper Abhinav kept them away.
Abhinav Pandey was shown green card in the 62nd minute and was replaced by Vishal for few minutes. Fortunately there was no attack to test the replacement. As Abhinav returned, India slowly got back to feet and started attacking again.
The second penalty corner of both the teams did not yield any goal and the match appeared headed for extra time. But, Hermanpreet Singh was not finished. With 45 seconds remaining in the full time, India earned their third penalty corner and he converted it cleanly to help India clinch the title.
Hermanpreet Singh with 8 goals emerged as the highest goal scorer of the tournament. He scored 2 goals in the final and two hattricks in the last two group matches of India.
Other Results of the Day
- Australia finished 3rd defeated New Zealand 6-2.
Malaysia finished 5th defeating Pakistan 3-1.
Past Winners of Trophy
- 2011 Malaysia (Hosts)