Skipper Mandeep Mor’s well-executed penalty corner in the 42nd minute helped Indian junior team beat Japan 1-0 to register their third successive victory at the Sultan of Johor Cup at Johor on Tuesday.
The rain-affected India-Japan match, which was stopped for a few minutes during the first quarter, was an intensely fought one. The Indian attack was often challenged with a good, disciplined defence structure that they adopted during the entire duration of play. Though India made a few chances in the opening quarter with the team winning a penalty corner, it was denied by a good Japanese defence.
With the second quarter too ending in a stalemate with both teams at 0-0, the third quarter saw India up their attack. While two penalty corners were awarded to India after a Japanese infringement, it was in the second attempt that skipper Mandeep Mor converted a well-executed PC in the 42nd minute.
Leading by only a goal, India put all their energies into defence with goalkeeper Pankaj Rajak making some excellent saves to keep his team in the lead. India overcame a close shave when Japan won a penalty corner with minutes left for the final hooter, however, the chance was missed and India held their nerves to seal the match and the winning points.
Earlier in the tournament, India Colts had won 2-1 against Malaysia and 7-1 against New Zealand. India will next take on defending champions Australia in their fourth match on October 10.