Johor Bahru (Malaysia): The Indian junior men’s hockey team continued to impress at the 8th Sultan of Johor Cup 2018 as they notched up their second successive win here on Sunday by beating New Zealand 7-1.
On the opening day of the tournament, the India Colts had registered a hard fought 2-1 victory against hosts Malaysia. In their second match, it was Prabhjot Singh (6′), Shilanand Lakra (15′, 43′), Harmanjit Singh (21′), Mohd Faraz (23′), Abhishek (50′) and Skipper Mandeep Mor (60′) who scored in India’s scintillating win. For New Zealand, Sam Hiha (53′) scored the lone goal.
Last year’s Bronze Medallists’ India got off to an attacking start as Prabhjot’s fine goal in the 6th minute put New Zealand on the back foot. The Junior India side displayed disciplined hockey, played to structure and ensured swift accurate passes that helped them make potential forays into the striking circle.
Shilanand Lakra, who had made his Senior debut earlier this year at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia, was in good nick as he capitalised on a good assist to put the ball past the New Zealand goalkeeper winning India a strong 2-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Though New Zealand tried to overcome the initial setback, India Colts’ defence held strong barring any easy circle entries. India goalkeeper Pankaj Rajak too was in good stead to avert New Zealand from converting by making good saves. Building on their attack from a fine start, the Indian forwards kept up the pressure as they scored back-to-back goals in the 21st and 23rd minute through Harmanjit’s field goal and Mohd Faraz’s fabulously struck PC.
While the third quarter saw both teams drop the pace a tad bit, with India managing a single goal in the 43rd minute through Lakra.
It was Abhishek’s 50th minute goal that put India ahead by 6-0, even as New Zealand’s Sam Hiha scored a goal three minute later, it was just a consolation as India Colts’ Skipper Mandeep Mor ensured his team wrapped up the three winning points as he converted a smart variation in PC to finish with a splendid 7-1 scoreline.
The Indian Junior Men’s Team will next take on Japan in their third match on 9 October 2018 at 15.35hrs (Indian Standard Time) IST.