India defeated Malaysia 3-0 to win the 3rd U-21 Sultan of Johor Cup tournament at the Taman Daya Stadium here yesterday. With skipper Fitri Saari marked out of the match by Harjeet Singh, Malaysia lacked ideas to penetrate the tight Indian defence. India thus made up for last year’s 2-3 final defeat against Germany.
India came close to scoring in the fifth minute as Satbir Singh took a shot which was padded away by Mohammed Hafizuddin Othman. After that, India grew in confidence and were awarded a penalty corner in the 13th minute but Amit Rohidas’ attempt was charged down by Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin and off a quick counter, Mohammed Syamim Yusof nearly scored after evading three defenders before sending his shot wide of the post.
India took the lead in the 22nd minute after a fine run on the left by Kothajit Singh whose cross came of the stick of Faiz Helmi and fell nicely for Amon Mirash Tirkey to score. India then forced three consecutive penalty corners in the 35th minute but the Malaysian defenders held firm. A Malaysian penalty corner in the 52nd minute was kept out by India and in the resulting counter-attack, Ramandeep Singh relayed the ball to Affan Yusof who made it 2-0 for India.
After missing seven penalty corners, skipper Manpreet finally converted one in the 64th minute to make it 3-0. After the win, Hockey India (HI) announced cash awards of Rs 1,00,000 each for the players. Meanwhile, the support staff were given Rs 50,000 each. Harjeet was given an additional Rs 100,000 for winning the most promising player of the tournament award.