26 Sep 2013

India humble high-flying Pakistan in Johor Cup Featured

JOHOR BAHRU (Malaysia), Sept 25: After recording two impressive consecutive wins to lead the points table, high-flying Pakistan juniors suffered a humiliating 0-4 defeat at the hands of arch-rivals India here at the Sultan of Johor Cup on Wednesday.

 

The clash between the traditional rivals was being considered to be a highly thrilling encounter as both teams came in the match after winning both their matches in the six-nation event.

Pakistan colts were thought to have an upper hand because of the green-shirts’ goal-scoring ability they exhibited in the tournament against South Korea (with 3-0 scoreline) and England (6-2). However, their Indian counterparts displayed a brilliant show and it eventually turned out to be a one-sided affair.

Pakistan started the proceedings at high speed, perhaps becoming over-confident following their big triumphs earlier in the tournament.

On the other hand, India tried to reduce the pace by stroking the ball around and waiting for the Pakistanis to make mistakes.

However, the fast game from Pakistan rewarded them with a penalty-corner in the fifth minute and was taken by Mohammad Tousiq. But goalkeeper Harjot Singh deflected the ball, saving India from conceding an early goal.

Ten minutes later, India were also awarded a penalty-corner but Amit Rohidass drag flick came off the up-right post. The remaining first half game gave little entertainment to the spectators as both sides tried to keep the ball possession and the play was mostly confined to the midfield.

In the second half, India came in with a different strategy and took only two minutes to earn a penalty-corner.

Sukhmanjit Singh converted the penalty-corner neatly to give India lead. Pakistan went on the back foot after conceding the goal, which allowed India to consolidate their position by making more intrepid attacks.

Making the most of the second half conditions, which turned in favour of India after they took the lead, India’s Imran Khan made it 2-0 in the 45th minute.

A few minutes later, Pakistan defender Mohammad Tausiq obstructed Ramandeep Singh in full flight, which brought the latter down to the ground but India were handed a penalty-stroke in the process. Sukhmanjit duly converted the stroke.

Ramandeep scored the fourth for his side in the 61st minute after Kothajit Singh broke through on the left and set up a simple tap-in.

After this impressive victory, India are only one win away from the final, where they could earn a spot by defeating South Korea on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Pakistan must beat hosts and defending champions Malaysia on the day to stay in contention for the final.—Agencies

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