The Indian junior men’s hockey team lost to Great Britain 1-2 in the final of the 9th Sultan of Johor Cup here on Saturday.
Stuart Rushmere scored both the goals to help his team register a come from behind victory over the Indians who had gone ahead thanks to an indirect penalty corner conversion by Gursahibjit Singh in the fourth quarter.
India were first to get off the blocks after the start of play and created plenty of chances through out the match. But their profligacy in front of the goal meant that they failed to break the deadlock in the first three quarters.
The first real opportunity fell to Maninder Singh, who dribbled past three Great Britain players to singlehandedly fashion a shooting chance, which flew just over the crossbar.
Soon enough though James Mazarelo was called into action in Great Britain’s goal, first saving a sharp chance off Sudeep before parrying three consecutive penalty corners, to ensure his team went into the break level.
India upped the ante in the second quarter, and this time it was Oliver Payne in goal who was holding the score level. First he saved Dilpreet Singh’s creative shot, before pulling off a reflex save from Gursahibjit’s deflection from yards out.
The team went into half-time locked in a 0-0 stalemate.
The trend continued in the third quarter with India forcing the play. India won their fifth PC of the game in the 36th minute, and once again Mazarelo was at hand to save Pratap Lakra’s drag flick.
Minutes later India had a golden opportunity courtesy of Maninder, but Shilanand Lakra’s deflection fell straight at Mazarelo to kick away.
India finally managed to take the lead in the 49th minute through their seventh penalty corner of the game. This time a variation proved to be key, Mandeep’s dragflick smartly deflected by Gursahibjit.
Within a minute though Great Britain won their first penalty corner of the game. Despite the initial save on the line by Sanjay, Rushmere pounced on the rebound and slotted home the equaliser.
He was soon on the mark, scoring of another rebound, to clinch the title for Great Britain.