Johor Bahru: India triumphed in the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup Under-21 hockey tournament with a thumping 3-0 victory over hosts Malaysia in the final, here, on Sunday.
Amon Mirash Tirkey (22nd), Affan Yusof (52) and Manprret (64th) were the goal-scorers for India who made up for last year’s defeat in the final against Germany.
India were the deserving winners on a day when Malaysia failed to find the spark which had seen them make the final with relative ease.
India created a lot of opportunities and had an early chance in the 5th minute when Satbir Singh took a snap shot but it was padded away by Mohammed Hafizuddin Othman.
The initial forays gave India the confidence and they were awarded a penalty corner in the 13th minute but Amit Rohidas’ attempt was charged down by Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin.
In a quick counter-attack, Mohammed Syamim Yusof nearly scored after evading three defenders, but he sent his shot wide off the post, much to the relief of goalkeeper 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 just 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’ drag flick was palmed out by Hafizuddin.
Malaysia 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 goalkeeper.
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.
India went on to create many more chances before skipper Manpreet finally converted from a penalty corner in the 64th minute to make it 3-0.