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Sultan of Johor Cup: Malaysia ride on late equaliser to hold India 3-3

Indian junior hockey team have impressed many at the 2nd Sultan of Johor Cup. The final league tie against Malaysia was an opportunity to show all and sundry that the winning intent of the side won’t dilute one bit just because their last league was only of academic interest, with the men in blue already making it to Sunday’s final after their resounding 3-1 victory over New Zealand.

For hosts and reigning champions Malaysia, it was a chance to redeem its pride, which was severely dented in the earlier games.

India made their attacking intentions clear from the word go. Akashdeep Singh was involved in an early raid in the first minute when he missed a scoring opportunity from close range.

India earned their first penalty corner in the 14th minute, which resulted in a follow-on short corner but they failed to profit from it.

The consistent raids in the Malaysian citadel soon fetched rich dividends as Akashdeep atoned for his earlier slip-up, giving his side the lead in the 19th minute.

India doubled the lead in the 26th minute when Gagandeep Singh converted his team’s fourth penalty corner.

Down 0-2, Malaysia pressed hard to bounce back and earned a penalty corner two minutes later. Faeez fired home to reduce the margin.

India led 2-1 at half time.

Malaysia showed more discipline in the second half and restored parity through Firhan Ashaari in the 45th minute.

India mounted attacks to move ahead, which fructified when Gurmel Singh gave his side the lead in the 58th minute.

Malaysia earned their second penalty corner in the 68th minute and Faeez slammed home for the second time in the match to give the hosts plenty to rejoice about as the match ended in a 3-3 draw.

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