It’s been far too much of Football and cricket stealing all the limelight. Wherein comes the Sultan Of Johor Cup 2017 ready to gain all our attention to a sport so long forgotten: Hockey!
Well, not so long forgotten but isn’t it hard to admit that how many of us do actually get excited about Hockey and sit hours before the match to cheer our favorite teams? Quite a few!
But here’s something that we must remember, being Indian National Sport, Hockey deserves that respect. And by this, I do not intend to say we ought to. But if we sit and look at our history combined with the history of the game, it’s marvelous. No doubt regarding this. And by that aspect, if we look at the game it is as interesting as any other sport played in our nation and worldwide.
What is Johor Cup?
Well to end your curiosity, Johor Cup is the annual International U-21 men’s field hockey tournament held in Malaysia.
And since its advent, five nations appeared most active and victorious. Out of which India have won the tournament twice. Followed by Australia and others having won the tournament once.
The first edition of the tournament was held in the year 2011. Giving us Australia as the champions of the year 2016.
And we’re here again witnessing the Seventh Edition of the Sultan Of Johor Cup, to be held from 22 to 29 October. And including the host nation, there is total of 5 nations competing this year for glory. Wherein India and Australia will be competing for the first spot and title of winning nation. Malaysia and Great Britain for the Third position. Followed by Japan and United States for the Fifth position.
Team India comes out as a Lion!
Leaving all other teams behind in the race. Team India has emerged as the one not-to-be-messed with and made Indian fans smile with pride on their faces. The last match dating to 25th October, was a catastrophe for team USA, closing it at an excellent score of 22-0. The match was more of a one-sided game-play because of fantastic logical attacks and tactics of Indian players.
For India, the four-star players were Vishal Antil, Dilpreet Singh, Harmanjit Singh and Abhishek who scored a hat-trick. Whereas Harmanjit top-scored with a total of five goals. Abhishek following the league with four goals. Whereas Vishal and Dipreet every plumbed the board thrice. Maninder Singh struck twice and Pratap Lakra, Rabichandra Moirangthem, Raushan Kumar, Shihan and Lakra and Vivek Prasad each scored a goal.
Our first defeat.
Australia dominated the proceedings within the initial stages of the primary quarter. As they attacked the Indian defense to start out on a bright note.
This resulted with Australians winning a penalty corner within the third minute of the match. That was well reborn by Joel Rintala to allow his aspect the lead. The game was all balanced between the 2 sides throughout the second quarter. As defenders of each the groups showed resilience to stay out the efforts.
However, in the moment before the half-time hooter. A miss-pass from the Australian aspect diode to an exquisite counter-attack from Indian team with Dilpreet Singh’s ferociously affected shot giving India a 2-1 lead.
In the third quarter although, Australia focused on obtaining associate equalizer. Controlled the proceedings with some fast passes.
The opposing team Australia did convert another penalty corner within the thirty-sixth minute. Once Coby Green found himself free ahead of goal. He made an attempt to change the unsuccessful drag-flick!
And again scored one more within the forty-fifth minute to require a 3-2 lead after another unsuccessful dead penalty corner was followed up by a well-taken shot by Jonathan Bretherton.
But at the end of the match, a clear-cut winner came out. Defeating India for the first time in the 2017 match series and making a lead of 4-3!
It is now that India is set to face Great Britain on October 28 for the decider.
All the best Team India!