18 Oct 2019

Britain and India set to create history

Defending champions Great Britain will take on India in the final of the 9th edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

It will be a repeat final of 2018 where Great Britain triumphed 3-2 to lift the trophy for the second time.

Either of the two teams will create history as they will be the first country to have won the trophy for a third time since its inaugural event in 2011.

This is the sixth time that India has made the final. But they only won twice, in 2013 and 2014.

As for Great Britain, this is their fifth final appearance and they too won the prestigious trophy twice, in 2015 and 2018.

So with a place in the history books looming, one can expect a hard fought final with both set of players not giving an inch to their opponents.

“ We are confident of lifting the title and the players play better in back to back matches,” said India coach BJ Kariappa.

“ We need to take out chances and that was not the case today.

“ Britain are no pushovers and they will surely give us a tough time, especially since they too are vying for a third trophy triumph .

“ It will all boils down to consistency and the team that cuts down on mistakes will win,

“ And I believe we have what it takes to lift the cup to overcome our disappointment last year.”

For Britain coach Jon Bleby , he wants his players to go out there to enjoy the final and give their best.

“ We have a relatively young team with all, except two players eligible to play next year,” said Bleby.

“ The experience of playing in a final is priceless and I believe we need to plan a good strategy to overcome India.

“ Of course winning it will be the icing on the cake but we have never underestimated any opponent.”

In their last pool match, India came from 2-0 down to draw 3-3.

Goals were scored by Ioan Wall ( 27th minute) , Andrew McDonnell ( 32nd minute) and Mathew Randhawa ( 58th minute) for Britain before India staged a comeback.

Shilanand Lakra ( 48th minute),Mandeep Mor ( 51st minute) and Sharda Nand Tiwari ( 57th minute) were the goal getters for India.

India’s Shilanand Lakra will also be looking to add to his goal tally as he is currently on four goals.

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