# Sudden death penalty shootout gives Britain 4-3 win in the final after 2-2 draw
# Malaysia take third place after 3-2 win over Argentina.
# India skipper Harjeet Singh named Player of the Tournament
Great Britain defeated two-time champions India in the final of the 5th edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru on Sunday – winning 4-3 in sudden death penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw.
India had won the title in 2013 and last year but the luck of the lottery went Britain’s way on a slippery pitch which proved to be the deciding factor to a certain extent. Still, the final will be remembered as the best match seen in this year’s Sultan of Johor Cup.
The Indian fans had come well armed and supported their team to the beat of the Bangra music. Britain too were not short of support in the stands.
In a pulsating final Britain grabbed the lead as early as the fifth minute through their ace in the pack skipper Luke Taylor – his 10th goal in the tournament which saw him walk away with the tournament’s top scorer award.
India made it 1-1 on 12 minutes through Harmanpreet Singh with his deadly flick off a penalty corner. When Gurjant Singh made it 2-1 in the 42nd minute the title looked to remain with India.
However, Britain, one of the most exciting teams this year’s sent the match into the shootout through Jack Turner’s goal.
In the mandatory shootout Britain scored through Ed Horler and Jack Clee while India were on target through their two Hs – Harjeet and Harmanpreet Singh. Clee won the title for Britain after Harjeet and Parvinder (for India) missed their attemtps while Horler missed for Britain.
India coach Harendra Singh took his team’s defeat in his stride and congratulated Britain the winning the final.
“Penalty shootouts are always unpredictable. It is a lottery. It is unfortunate we could finish the final with a win. It is hard to miss out on the title but we will learn from this defeat and improve on our mistakes, ” said Harendra, who was full of praise for his team.
Earlier Malaysia gave a creditable performance this year and ending the tournament with a podium finish showed that Malaysia are on the right track to defend the Junior Asia Cup title in Kuantan from Nov 14-22.
In the playoff for the bronze medal Malaysia beat Argentia 3-2 and it was Shahril Saabah (7th minute) and Mohamed Najmi Farizal Jazlan (17th and 41st) who put Malaysia 3-1 up before Argentine pulled one back through Nicholas Keenan on 52 minutes.
“Finishing on the podium is a big boost for the team for the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan. But there are several shortcomings that need to be ironed out at the back and we will work that in coming days,” said Malaysia coach A. Arul Selvaraj.
In the first match of the day Australia ended up in fifth place when whacked Pakistan 5-0 in the playoff. Pakistan thus ended the tournament without a win.
India skipper Harjeet Singh was named the Player of the Tournament while Great Britain goalkeeper was adjudged the Best Goalkeeper. Australia won the Fairplay Award.
RESULTS (OCT 18)
India 2 Great Britain 2
(Britain win 4-3 in penalty shootout)
Third Place Playoff
Malaysia 3 Argentina 2
Fifth Place Playoff
Australia 5 Pakistan 0
Roll of Honour
Player of the Tournament: Harjeet Singh (India)
Top scorer: Luke Taylor (Great Britain) 10 goals
Best Goalkeeper: Chris Wyver (Great Britain)
Fair Play: Australia