# India reign supreme in Kuantan to nail their third Junior Asia Cup
# India also sweep three other awards on a night of glory
# Malaysia’s Shahril Saabah voted Player of the Tournament
# Malaysia whitewash Bangladesh 8-0 to finish fifth
# Team manager Mirnawan Nawawi quits after Malaysia’s failure to make the Junior World Cup Finals
It was a night of glory for India as they regained the Junior Asia Cup with a smashing 6-2 win over bitter rivals Pakistan in the final at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan on Sunday.
India also walked away with three other awards with skipper Harjeet Singh named as Man of the Match in the final while Harmanpreet Singh who whacked in four goals min the final was the tournament’s top scorer with 14 goals.
It did not stop at that for India with Vikas Dahiya taking the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament as the Indians celebrated their third title in the series, having won the first two in 2004 and 2008.
Drag flicker Harmanpreet was the toast of the Indian team – making it count with the two penalty corners to set the tone for India to dominate the final in every department.
Harmanpreeet opened the floodgates in the 10th minute and added a second five minutes later. Pakistan came back briefly when Muhammad Yaqoob scored after 27 minutes.
However, dominating India pulled further ahead with Harmanpreet completing his hat-trick three minutes later. India took off from where they left in the first half with Armaan Qureshi on target with a field attempt in the 44th minute.
Manpreet Singh Junior got India’s fifth in the 50th minute through a field goal before Harmanpreet hammered his fourth and India’s sixth in the 53rd minute before Pakistan reduced the deficit through Muhammad Dilber (68th).
India coach Harendra Singh it was final where his players showed enjoyed and played entertaining hockey.
“I am very proud of my players. They had passion, calmness, discipline to win after the disappointment of losing the final in the Sultan of Johor Cup last month.” said a brimming Harendra.
“The players were told to play good hockey for the fans to enjoy the game and they delivered in style.”
In the same breath Harendra was quick to say that India are not going to rest on their laurels.
“There are several shortcomings that need to be ironed out and improve our game further for our campaign in the Junior World Cup Finals.”
Defending champions Malaysia could only finish a poor fifth in this year’s edition after defeating Bangladesh 8-0 in the playoff for fifth and sixth placing. However, Shahril Saabah, gave Malaysia some consolation when he was named the “Player of the Tournament”.
Malaysia’s hopes of qualifying for the Junior World Cup Finals in India in December next year were dented by South Korea who scored two goals in the last two minutes to force the semi-final into a penalty shootout with a 3-3 draw.
The Koreans beat the Malaysians 4-1 in the shootout.
Malaysia’s failure to make the Junior World Cup Finals also saw team manager Mirnawan Nawawi quit the team hours after the 8-0 win over Bangladesh in the fifth placing playoff.
ROLL OF HONOUR
South Korea 2 Japan 1
Malaysia 8 Bangladesh 0
China 7 Oman 2
PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT: Shahril Saabah (Malaysia)
MAN OF THE MATCH(Final): Harjeet Singh (India)
TOP SCORER IN THE TOURNAMENT: Harmanpreet Singh (India)
BEST GOALKEEPER OF THE TOURNAMENT: Vikas Dahiya (India)