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Hockey: India’s Junior World Cup hopes boosted by Sultan of Johor Cup win

India celebrate after beating hosts Malaysia 3-0 in the final of the Sultan of Johor Cup in Johor Bahru. Photo: c/o www.sultanjohorcup.com.my

India celebrate after beating hosts Malaysia 3-0 in the final of the Sultan of Johor Cup in Johor Bahru. Photo: c/o www.sultanjohorcup.com.my

September 30, 2013: India’s U-21 men won the third Sultan of Johor Cup by beating hosts Malaysia 3-0 in the final, with Amon Mirash Tirkey, vice-captain Yousuf Affan and skipper Manpreet Singh scoring in front of an estimated 15,000 fans at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Bahru. The victory helped avenge India’s 3-2 defeat to Germany in last year’s final.

 

The Sultan of Johor Cup was contested by six U-21 teams in preparation for this year’s FIH Junior World Cup, which will be held in New Delhi, India, from December 6-15.

 

India took the lead in the 22nd minute after Kothajit Singh, who has won 53 caps for India’s national team, dribbled down the left before his cross came off the stick of Faiz Helmi and fell nicely for Tirkey to score.

 

Affan converted a penalty corner in the 52nd minute before Manpreet Singh, who has won 79 caps for the national team, converted another penalty corner with six minutes left to make it 3-0.

 

Malaysia struggled to make any inroads, especially with skipper Fitri Saari, named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, tightly marked by Indian midfielder Harjeet Singh, declared the event’s Most Promising Player.

 

Hockey India later announced it would give INR100,000 (US$1,600) to each player of the team and INR50,000 to each member of the support staff, while Harjeet Singh earned an additional INR100,000 for winning Most Promising Player.

 

Dr Narinder Batra, Secretary General of Hockey India, said: “I congratulate all the players and support staff for making everyone proud by winning this prestigious tournament. This is just the beginning for India’s junior men who are setting their target on winning the FIH Junior Men’s World Cup.”

 

Hockey India also announced it would give a cash award of INR100,000 to women’s goalkeeper Savita who was named the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the recent eighth Women’s Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. India finished third, beating 2009 champions China in a penalty shootout.

 

Sultan of Johor Cup, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Standings: 1. India, 2, Malaysia, 3. Argentina, 4. Pakistan, 5. Korea, 6. England

Most Outstanding Player: Fitri Saari (Malaysia)

Most Promising Player: Harjeet Singh (India)

Best Goalkeeper: Lee Se-young (Korea)

Fair Play: England

Top Scorers: 8 goals – Mohd Shahril Saabah (Malaysia); 7 – Muhammad Dilber (Pakistan); 6 – Ramandeep Singh (India); 4 – Seo In-woo (Korea), Yousuf Affan (India)

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