Johor Baru, Malaysia (6 Nov, 2016): Pakistan surrendered an early lead to go down 1-3 against Australia in the final of the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium here on Sunday.
It was the second time the Australians defeated the Pakistanis in this tournament. Tahir Zaman’s Under-21 squad lost 1-8 in a pool match just two days before the final.
Both teams, including England and New Zealand, competed in the SOJC in preparation for December’s Junior World Cup in Lucknow, India.
Pakistan surprised fans here by going 1-0 ahead in the seventh minute through the first penalty corner. Instead of Abu Bakr, Pakistan’s regular striker and top scorer with four goals, taking the penalty corner, the job was given to Hassan Anwar who flicked the ball past the goalkeeper with pace and accuracy.
Australia replied in similar manner within six minutes through Gerrard Frazer’s penalty corner conversion.
The Australians dominated the second half and seized three penalty corners but one resulted in a penalty stroke in the 47th minute which Blake Govers scored to give the Aussies a 2-1 lead. He returned four minutes before the end of the match to convert the winning goal from a penalty corner as the Australians celebrated their first SOJC title here.
Japan ensured a podium finish by defeating England 4-1 in the shootout in the third-fourth placing match. England, who lost to Japan 1-2 in the round-robin, twice took the lead but Japan drew level 2-2 in regulation time and forced the match into shootout.
“My players have got big heart and great desire to do well. That won us the match,” said Japan coach Kyoichi Nagaya. “We learned a lot and will take this experience to the Junior World Cup.”
England took the lead through Jack Clee with a reverse stick shot in the 20th minute but the Japanese cancelled it with a Miyu Tanimitsu’s penalty corner in the 31st minute. But the English shot 2-1 ahead after Jack Waller scored from a field goal.
But the Japanese showed determination by scoring the equaliser through Kaito Tanaka’s field goal. And in the shootout, Koji Yamasaki, Kaito Tanaka, Shinichi Kamezaki and Ryo Ozawa proved successful. For England, only Peter Scott scored.
Malaysia defeated New Zealand 4-1 to take fifth spot.
“We worked hard for the win and this time made use of the chances we created. That was the difference today,” said Malaysia coach Wallace Tan. “The players will gain some experience from this competition and we’ll go back to the development programme and continue work there.”
Najmi Farizal Jazlan opened the scoring from a short corner in the fifth minute while Zulhamizan Awang Abas scored from field goal in the 10th minute before New Zealand pulled one back through Marc Wilcox in the 32nd minute.
The Malaysians dominated the second half as Firdaus Fauzi and Ashran Hamsani scored field goals in the 51st and 68th minutes respectively.
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