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India beat Australia 5-4 in penalty shootout, crowned Johor Cup 3rd Sultan | Hockey news


JOHOR BAHRU (Malaysia): Two-time champions India beat Australia 5-4 in a penalty shootout to regain their place Sultan of Johor Cup crown, breaking their five-year-old jinx title here on Saturday.
The teams drew 1-1 after the allotted time in the encounter.
In the penalty shootout, both teams ended with a score of 3-3, forcing the match into an immortal position.
It took nine penalties to decide the winner and Australia was the first team to foul Cooper Burns but India goalkeeper Mohith Shashikumar saved it.
India starts with Vishnukant Singh, who calmly lifted it over the keeper and into the back of the net. Liam Hart then scored Australia’s first goal in the penalty shootout, then Sudeep shot long, and the draw was locked at 1-1 after the first two innings.
Mohith blocked Jayden Atkinson’s effort, before captain Uttam Singh won a penalty, which Sharda Nand Tiwari promptly saved, giving India a 2-1 lead.
Next up for Australia was Joshua Brooks and he made it 2-2, but Boby Singh Dhami couldn’t give India the lead. Australia won a penalty on the next attempt as Brodee Foster was checked by the keeper and Joshua scored without much praise.
Ankit Pal then moved up to the position for India, and he equalized, making it 3-3, putting the game in a sudden death position.
In a state of sudden death, Vishnukant switched to play for India, but he missed, after which Hart was rejected by the post. Uttam then gave India a 4-3 lead with the next attempt, and Burns made it 4-4.
Boby cut a disappointing number for missing his effort, before Brodee put the ball in the net, and the two teams remained tied 4-4 in an impressive finish.
Sudeep then kept his nerve and won 5-4, while Joshua missed as the Indian players ran amok to celebrate.
Before that, both sides were playing at a high tempo, with Mohith Shashikumar making an excellent save early on.
Australia controlled the proceedings in the initial exchanges, while Uttam and Boby tried to push India forward. The efforts paid off as India broke the deadlock against Sudeep (14′) and entered the first half with a 1-0 lead, to the delight of the fans present on the field.
Looking to take the lead in the second quarter, India started on the front foot, with most of the game time being played in the Australian half.
As the half progressed, Australia’s efforts to find the equalizer intensified, and although India were absorbing the pressure well, Jack Holland (29′) scored. India and Australia entered the halftime break with a score of 1-1.
Both sides were cautious in the second half and in the middle, India almost took the lead against Sudeep but neither side could get past the other, as the half ended with a score of 1-1.
In the final half, both India and Australia turned up the heat by a few places but when the last six minutes of the game started, the score was still read as 1-1. Both sides gave their best, but could not find a winner within the allotted time, as the final entered a penalty shootout.
The Indians have won the age group tournament twice – 2013 and 2014 – and finished second four times in 2012, 2015, 2018 and the last time of the event in 2019.
The tournament will not be held in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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