India’s junior men’s hockey team produced a brilliant performance against Australia on a tense night to clinch their 10th Sultan Cup from Johor after a tense penalty shootout. The teams were tied 1-1 in regulation time, after which nine penalty kicks were needed to decide the winner.
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India won the shootout 5-4 to claim their third Sultan of Johor trophy.
Australia controlled proceedings in the early exchanges as captain Uttam Singh and Bobby Singh Dhami tried to push India forward. Sudeep Chirmakov’s (14th minute) efforts to break the Indian deadlock paid off. India lead 1-0 at the first break.
Looking to extend their lead in the second quarter, India started off on the right foot, playing most of the game in the Australian half.
Over the quarter, the Australians’ hunt for an equalizer intensified, with India handling the pressure well, but Jack Holland (29th) scored. India and Australia entered the half-time break tied 1-1.
Both teams came back cautiously in the second half without giving the opposition any space. Midway through the quarter-finals, India almost took the lead with Sudeep Chirmakov, but neither team could beat the other as the quarter finished 1.-1.
India and Australia stepped up the pressure a few points in the last quarter-final with Johor Sultan in front, making it the most entertaining phase of the game. However, at the start of the last six minutes, the score was still 1-1.
Both teams tried their best but could not find a winner in the allotted time as the final ended in a penalty shootout.
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