The Indian junior men’s hockey team lost a hard-fought encounter 2-3 to Britain in the last round robin match at the 8th Sultan of Johor Cup 2018 here on Friday.
However, thanks to four wins on the trot earlier in the tournament, the Indians qualified for the final with 12 points. Last year’s runners-up Britain are placed second with 10 points from five games out of which they won three matches.
On Friday, the Indian team led by Mandeep Mor made a strong start making repeated forays into the striking circle. The tactic fetched them two back-to-back penalty corners in the fifth minute and Vishnukant Singh converted the second attempt after a good variation.
But the following minute Britain scored a brilliant field goal through Cameron Golden to equalise 1-1.
In the second quarter too, India continued to keep up the momentum stretching Great Britain’s defence. While the first penalty corner went amiss, the second was well struck by Shilanand Lakra in the 20th minute which was handy work of good variation and deflection that helped them take a 2-1 lead.
The third quarter though belonged to Britain, as they tested the Indian defence. Defensive errors in the circle on India’s part saw them give away back to back penalty corners. Britain did not miss this opportunity as they scored in the 39th minute through Stuart Rushmere.
The English put the Indian defence under pressure in the final quarter as they found ways to create chances in the circle.
A penalty corner earned in the 51st minute saw them convert their third goal through Captain Edward Way and eventually defended the score-line to hand the Indians their first loss in the tournament.