This year’s edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup wasn’t ideal for Australia or Pakistan. Both were languishing at the bottom of the table and faced off for the last two spots of the tournament and more importantly, pride. Australia came off better with a faultless 5-0 win over Pakistan, in what seemed a venting of the gathered frustration of the tournament. Pakistan will be grateful that their nightmarish campaign has ended.
The first half saw both teams get off to a quick start and Pakistan receive a penalty corner in the 6th minute which they failed to convert. Australia more than compensated with two goals by Max Hendry in the 9th minute and Jack Welch in the 19th minute. At halftime, their lead was intact and Pakistan seemed hapless.
Australia picked up right where they left off in the first half, running circles around the clueless Pakistanis. A penalty corner in the 3rd minute notwithstanding, Pakistan did not have a reply for the Aussies. Kurt Lovett scored in the 10th minute of the half and Ryan Procter in the 14th minute to give Australia a massive 4-0 lead. Lovett would rub salt into the wound with another goal in the 30th minute.
The Australian U-21s resembled their older, World Champion counterparts for the first time in the tournament. They were absolutely dominant with 11 shots on goal over Pakistan’s 3 and 20 circle penetrations over Pakistan’s 9.