A dominant India triumphed in the third Sultan of Johor Cup with a thumping 3-0 victory over host Malaysia in the title clash of the under-21 hockey tournament here on Sunday.
Amon Mirash Tirkey (22nd), Affan Yusof (52nd) and Manpreet (64th) were the goal-scorers for India which made up for last year’s defeat in the final against Germany.
India was the deserving winner on a day when Malaysia failed to find the spark that had seen it make the final with relative ease.
The visitors created a lot of opportunities and had an early chance in the fifth minute when Satbir Singh took a snap shot but it was padded away by Mohd Hafizuddin Othman. The initial forays gave the Indians the confidence and they were awarded a penalty corner in the 13th minute but Amit Rohidas’s attempt was charged down by Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin.
In a quick counter-attack, Mohd Syamim Yusof nearly scored after evading three defenders, but he sent his shot wide of the post, much to the relief of ’keeper Harjot Singh.
India drew first blood in the 22nd minute after a fine run on the left by Kothajit Singh whose cross came off the stick of Faiz Helmi and fell nicely for Tirkey to score.
The Malaysian defenders were loose in their marking and that allowed Affan Yusof to move into the semi-circle and his reverse-stick hit went inches wide.
India forced three consecutive penalty corners in the 35th minute but the Malaysian defenders held firm. However, they paid a heavy price as Muhammad Azri Hassan was yellow carded and Malaysia had to start the second half a man down.
India forced two penalty corners in the 42nd and 45th minutes and off the second, Rohidas’s drag flick was palmed out by Hafizuddin.
The Malaysians got their chance in the 47th minute when they were awarded a penalty corner.
But Shahril Saabah was on the bench and a variation was used. Izad Hakimi had a slap shot that was saved by the keeper.
Another penalty corner in the 52nd minute for Malaysia was kept out by India and from a counter-attack, Ramandeep Singh outwitted Kavin Karthik for a clear run at goal. He relayed the ball to Yusof who scored easily to make it 2-0 for India.
The Indians created several chances and finally skipper Manpreet converted their eight penalty corner in the 64th minute to make it 3-0 as India sealed the title.
HI’s cash prizes
Hockey India on Sunday announced a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh for each member of the victorious Indian team.
The support staff will also be awarded with a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 each, while Harjit Singh will get an additional cash award of Rs. 1 lakh for getting the ‘Most Promising Player’ award.
Also, HI will give a cash award of Rs. 1 lakh to Indian women’s team goalkeeper Savita who won the ‘Best Goalkeeper’ award.
India 3 (Amon Mirash Tirkey 22, Affan Yusof 52, Manpreet 64) bt Malaysia 0.