12 Oct 2018

Britain make the final Featured

India will face Britain in the final of the Sultan of Johor Cup despite a 2-3 defeat at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

 

India had already qualified for the final before the match and was leading 2-1 against the Britain team in their last group match. 

But a goal each in the third and fourth quarters saw the Britain side sneaking into the final. Both teams play again today in what is expected to be another close encounter.

Britain has proven to be the bogey team for India and the two-time champions will not relish the encounter.

But Indian coach Jude Felix has called on the players to regain their form and make it count in the final.

“We were overly casual after taking the lead. We could not score the chance that came our way and there was also a bit of indiscipline in the way we defended later in the game.

“But I feel confident that we will be back on form the final,” he said.

It will be India fifth final. They won the title in 2013 and 2014. They were runners-up in 2012 and 2015. If they win the title tomorrow, then they will become the first team to win three titles in the series.

For Britain, it will be their fourth final. 

They were champions in 2015 when they defeated India in the final after a penalty shootout. In 2014 India had beaten them in the final.

Britain was in the final last year as well but lost to Australia.

In the match, India scored their two goals through Vishnukant Singh and Shilanand Lakra in the fifth and 20th minute off penalty corners.

Britain had scored a field goal in the sixth minute through Cameron Golden. Stuart Rushmere added the second off a penalty corner in the 39th minute. Then in the 51st minute, the Britain side sealed their final berth with a field goal from Edward Way.

Britain coach Jon Bleby said he was proud of the player's ability to come back from a goal down twice.

“It shows good mental strength and we will gain from this win. The final as usual is a different ball game and neither team can afford to make mistakes. India has been a very consistent team and they will be just as tough in the final.

“But it is anybody’s game at this stage and we need to take advantage of this win and go for it. We have been a bogey team for the Indians and we should try and pip them,” he said.

In the five previous meetings between the two teams in the Sultan of Johor Cup the Britain side had outwitted them four times.

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