Great Britain stun India to lift the Sultan of Johor Cup

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India was denied a hat-trick as Great Britain snatched a thrilling 3-2 win in the final in the eighth edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru on Saturday.

Britain thus joined India and Australia as two-time winners of the RM100,000 silverware. For India, it was their second defeat to Britain in this year’s tournament, having lost by a similar margin a preliminary round-robin match on Friday.

India came as favorites and looked very much the champions but Britain once again displayed exceptional teamwork to become champions again. Their first title was in 2015.

The Indians, playing in their fifth final in the annual Under-21 Invitational meet, grabbed the lead as early as the fourth minute through Gursahibjit Singh who whipped in an unstoppable shot that whizzed past goalkeeper Oliver Payne.

It stopped at that as Britain responded in quick time to level the score at 1-1 after seven minutes through a field goal by Daniel West.

Then came two field goals by James Oates and India were reeling. Oates struck in the 39th and 42nd minutes to give Britain a 3-1 lead and boost his team’s confidence. India looked lost in the game.

However, India struck again in the 55th minute with an attempt from Abhishek to make it 3-2 for Britain. However, despite throwing everything into attack, the equalizer never as Britain held out for a 3-2 win.

“We had beaten them (India) in the preliminary round and it gave us the extra push. The goals came it mattered most for us,” said a delighted Britain coach Jon Bleby.

Earlier last year’s champions Australia won the bronze with a runaway 6-1 win over Japan in the playoff while Malaysia beat New Zealand 6-3 to take fifth place. RIZAL ABDULLAH 


Britain 3 India 2

Third place playoff
Australia 6 Japan 1

Fifth place playoff
Malaysia 6 New Zealand 3

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