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This article was first published 1 year ago  » Sports » India break 5-year jinx to win Johor Cup hockey

India break 5-year jinx to win Johor Cup hockey

Source: PTI
Last updated on: October 29, 2022 21:48 IST
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Hockey India

Two-time champions India defeated Australia 5-4 in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out to reclaim the Sultan of Johor Cup crown and break their five-year-old title jinx, in Johor Bahru, on Saturday.

The teams were level at 1-1 after regulation time.

In the shoot-out, both teams ended up with a 3-3 scoreline, forcing the match into sudden death.

As many as nine penalty shots were needed to decide the winner.


It was Australia who had the first crack at goal through Cooper Burns, but India goalkeeper Mohith Shashikumar kept him out.

India started off with Vishnukant Singh, who calmly lifted the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net.

Liam Hart then scored Australia's first goal in the shoot-out, after which Sudeep shot wide, and the tie-breaker was locked at 1-1 after the first two shots.

Mohith foiled Jayden Atkinson's attempt before captain Uttam Singh won a penalty stroke, which Sharda Nand Tiwari promptly put away, giving India a 2-1 lead.

Up next for Australia was Joshua Brooks and he made it 2-2, but Boby Singh Dhami was unable to put India ahead.

Australia won a penalty stroke off the next attempt as Brodee Foster was checked by the keeper and Joshua scored without much ado.

Ankit Pal then walked up to the spot for India, and he equalised, to make it 3-3, taking the game into sudden death.

In sudden death, Vishnukant stepped up for India, but missed, after which Hart was denied by the post.

Uttam then gave India a 4-3 lead with the next attempt, and Burns made it 4-4.

Boby cut a disappointing figure on missing his attempt before Brodee put it wide, and the teams remained tied 4-4 in what was turning out to be a dramatic finish.

Sudeep then held his nerve and made it 5-4, while Joshua missed as India's players ran amok in celebration.

Earlier, both sides looked to play at a high tempo, with Mohith Shashikumar pulling off a fine save early on.

Australia controlled the proceedings in the early exchanges, while Uttam and Boby tried to push India forward. The efforts paid off as India broke the deadlock through Sudeep (14th minute) and went into the first break leading 1-0, much to the joy of fans at the stadium.

Looking to build on the lead in the second quarter, India began on the frontfoot, with most of the contest being played in Australia's half. As the quarter progressed, Australia's hunt for the equaliser intensified, and even though India were absorbing the pressure well, Jack Holland (29th minute) scored.

The teams went into the half-time break with the score reading 1-1.

Both sides adopted a cautious approach in the second half and midway through the quarter, India almost edged ahead through Sudeep but neither side were able to outsmart the other, as the quarter ended with the score at 1-1.

In the final quarter, the teams turned up the heat by a few notches but as the final six minutes began, the score still read 1-1. Both sides gave it their all but weren't able to find the winner in regulation time, forcing the penalty shootout.

The Indians have won the age group tournament twice -- 2013 and 2014 -- and finished second best four times in 2012, 2015, 2018 and the last edition of the event in 2019.

The tournament was not held in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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