India turned on a sizzling display of attacking hockey to defeat Pakistan 4-0 in a clash of the archrivals at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Johor Baru.

 

Malaysia recorded their third win in as many matches when they defeated England 3-1 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

Korea saw victory snatched away from them as they conceded an equaliser six seconds from time against Argentina at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

 

Malaysia will be looking towards a win in the match against England on Wednesday. But they are well aware that the familiar foes could well pull the rug beneath them and thus will be cautious in their approach.

Having won both their matches thus far, a 4-2 win over Argentina followed by a 5-1 win over Korea on Monday night, Malaysia will inch nearer to Sunday's final if they can defeat England.

Malaysia played the English in three matches in early August in Leeds. Although skipper Fitri Saari was not in the team for the matches due to commitments with the senior side, he is well aware of the pitfalls if England are taken lightly.

"England may have lost both their matches but they are a good side and we must be cautious against them," said Fitri.

"We have a winning run that we should maintain and the English will be a stern test.

"They can derail our hopes of making the final , and thus we need to make use of our chances and plug the leaks in our defence."

Although the tea has downplayed the importance of the SOJC, the Malaysian hockey Confederation president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad shah wants them to win the tournament.

"We are the Asian champions, hence I see no reason why we should not win the tournament," said Tengku Abdullah.

"Although we have won two matches, I believe we can play better and need to cut out simple mistakes that allow opponents to score."

For England, the learning process continues.

"We played thrice against malaysia and it went down to shootouts to determine the winner. Malaysia are really a great side and have skillful players and it will be a great learning mission for my players," said coach Jonathan Bleby.

"We had some 17 penalty corners in two matches but have yet to be effective in that department. Hopefully things will look good against malaysia."

Meanwhile, the match of the day will obviously be between Pakistan and India.

Though the match is at junior level, the clash between these two countries at any level will no doubt be an attraction for fans.

And for Pakistan coach Manzoorul Hassan, the rivalry between the two teams is healthy and gives world hockey something to look forward to.

"There have been many matches between these two countries at senior and junior level and I have been involved in many matches,' said Manzoorul.

"But to me, the final of the 1975 World Cup stands out as the best match ever played as both the teams showed remarkable skills. Although we lost the final, I must say that it still ranksa s the best ever match the two countries played.

"Coming back to this match, we will have to be at our very best if we are to gain anything as the Indians have shown they are the team to beat."

India were the losing finalist last year and they know that a win will give them an advantage to make the final.

"It will be a pressure cooker situation as is the case when India plays Pakistan," said coach Greg Clark.

"Both teams are out to take a step closer to the final and emotions are high. This is my first "derby" kind of match and I am looking forward to it."

The bid by Malaysia for the hosting rights for the 2018 World Cup is a strong one.

And the International Hockey Federation (FIH) will make the decision by November 7 this year on just who will host the 2018 event that will see participating teams increased from 12 to 16. 

Four official proposals to host the men’s World Cup have been made, with a further three submissions being made for the women’s equivalent. The National Associations of Australia, England, India, Malaysia, and New Zealand have all put extremely strong cases forward in an attempt to lure the sport’s top properties to their territory.

 

The Sultan of Johor Cup continues to grow in strength and the efforts of the Johor Hockey Association were commended by the President of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

In describing the SOJC as a tournament that has gained international recognition despite only being the 3rd edition, Tengku Abdullah paid tribute to HRH Sultan of Johor, the JHA as well as the various sponsors that made this annual event a great success.

 

Malaysia scored a convincing 5-1 win over South Korea to maintain their good start in the 3rd edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup.

India trailed for a large part of the match but found their scoring touch when it mattered to edge Argentina 3-2 in the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup.

It was a poor performance by India who seemed lost in midfield and lacked the sting upfront. But they still managed to collect all three points from the South Americans who really deseved at least a point for their tireless style of hockey. 

Argentina had lost their opening match 4-2 against Malaysia while India were 2-1 winners over England on Sunday.

It was Argentina that drew first blood when Carlos Ibarra converted a penalty corner that Indian custodian Harjot singh failed to cover his angle in the 16th minute.

India awoke from their slumber and were on level terms in the 23rd minute when Affan Yusof showed slick stickwork in the semi circle before a reverse stick hit that sailed past Tomas Matias in the Argentina goal.

Off their second penalty corner in the 42nd minute, Argentina were awarded a penalty stroke after the attept by Ibarra hit Indian skipper Manpreet Singh on the foot.

Ibarra made no mistake from the spot to give Argentina a 2-1 lead.

India were fortunate in their equalisewr as Manpreet played a ball into the crowded semi circle and although Ramandeep Singh claimed credit for the goal, it bounced off the Argentina keeper pads into goal to make it 2-2 in the 60th minute.

And two minutes later it was Ramandeep who put India ahead as he cleverly deflected in at the far post to give India the 3-2 lead.

 

 

Pakistan won their second successive match at the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup when they came from a goal down to defeat England 6-2 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru.

Malaysia staved off the challenge of Pan American champions Argentina to walk away with all three points against Argentina, winning 4-2 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru.

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