India successfully defend Sultan of Johor Cup title
Harmanpreet Singh's double strike helped India to successfully defend their Sultan of Johor Cup title, beating Great Britain 2-1 in the final at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.
New Delhi: Harmanpreet Singh's double strike helped India to successfully defend their Sultan of Johor Cup title, beating Great Britain 2-1 in the final at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.
Drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh converted both the penalty corners for India, in the 46th and 70th minutes, whereas, Samuel French (55th minute) was the lone goal scorer for Great Britain.
With the help of two goals in the summit clash, Harmanpreet took his goals tally to eight in the tournament.
Though, Great Britain came into the final with a psychological advantage over India having beaten them 2-0 in their round-robin clash, but failed to repeat the magic in the final.
By retaining the title, now India have became the first country to win the title twice since the inception of the tournament in 2011.
It was a hard-fought encounter between India and Great Britain as both the teams did not give an inch to each other at least in the opening half.
But India finally took the lead in the 45th minute through a Harmanpreet's penalty corner conversion.
Varun Kumar then got a chance to double India's lead but his attempt from a penalty corner in the 53rd flew inches wide.
Great Britain then added salt to India's wound when French converted a penalty corner in the 55th minute to level scores at 1-1.
A controversy then erupted in the 62nd minute when Indian custodian Abhnav Pandey was shown the green card and an outfield player was taken off to bring on substitute keeper Subodh Tirkey.
With the match heading towards a shot-off, India were awarded another penalty corner just 45 seconds from the hooter and Harmanpreet duly convert the chance to help India retain the title.
For the bronze medal play-off earlier in the day, Australia defeated New Zealand 6-2 to finish third.