Johor Bahru (Malaysia), 17th October 2016: The Indian Men’s junior hockey team returned victorious, with a 1-0 score line, in their last league clash of the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup against Australia today at Johor Bahru, Malaysia. India now are set to take on Great Britain in the title clash tomorrow. India would be defending the title for the third consecutive time this year, and the team seems beaming with confidence ahead of the title clash in the championship.
India began on an attacking note today, but Australia played a strong defensive game, denying India of any chances to score. The first half came to an end without any goals from either side. Australia began the second half on an attacking note but could not sustain it for long and had to return to a defensive game, as India pressed hard to score. An error from the Australian half in the 42nd minute resulted in a penalty stroke to India. Harmanpreet Singh, thereafter made no mistakes in converting the penalty stroke to India’s favour, helping India win their last league encounter by a single goal margin.
‘It’s great to finish the league matches on a winning note. It wasn’t an easy game and we played against a tough Australian team today. However Harmanpreet duly converted the Penalty stroke which gave us the much needed lead. The boys are confident of defending the title for the third consecutive time and I am hopeful about witnessing some top quality hockey tomorrow on the field from both the teams,” said Harendra Singh, Coach, Indian Men’s Junior Team.
India now faces Great Britain, who has remained unbeaten in the tournament so far with 3 wins and two draws. India now tops the points table with 12 points from 4 wins and a single loss, that too to Great Britain earlier in the tournament. Sumit Kumar and Harmanpreet Singh with 3 goals each have been the top scorers for India so far.