Wednesday, October 15, 2014

India juniors crush Pakistan juniors 6-0 in Sultan of Johor Cup

This piece was published in Sportskeeda

India-Pakistan hockey rivalry never gives an impression of fading out no matter whether the senior or junior or sub-junior teams are involved. Barely two weeks after India won the Asiad gold in Incheon, the rivalry was renewed again as the India-Pakistan junior teams slugged it out at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Bahru, Malaysia in the 4th Sultan of Johor Cup.

Indian colts have maintained a vice-like grip over Pakistan in the Sultan of Johor of Cup so far – they have never lost to their arch-rivals – beat them 5-1 in the 2011 edition, played out a goalless draw in the 2012 edition and thumped them 4-0 in the 2013 edition. India maintained the same sequence outclassing Pakistan 6-0, thus chalking up their third win in four meetings at this event.

Pakistan took the field on Wednesday, in a desperate bid to improve the head-to-head record and showed their intent two penalty corners in the first ten minutes of play. The Greenshirts were guilty of profligacy as India took went the same route wasting their first two short corners in a no-holds-barred contest.

India finally took the lead when vice captain Imran Khan scored in the 22nd minute of a rebound off their third penalty corner. The Harendra Singh-coached outfit were on cloud nine when Parvinder Singh made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time.
Armaan Quereshi took the wind out of Pakistan’s sails scoring a wonderful field goal to make the scoreline 3-0 early in the second half. Harmanpreet Singh whipped home a short corner to allow India enjoy a four-goal cushion. Varun Kumar converted another penaltycorner to net their side’s fifth goal with three minutes remaining for the final hooter.

Armaan Quereshi added his second for the day in the closing stages to pave the way for a 6-0 shellacking of Pakistan as they walked off the pitch with bubbling with confidence ahead of their two crucial league ties against Malaysia and Australia.

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