The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team was involved in a cracking contest against Australia, as they drew 5-5 at the 10th Sultan of Johor Cup on Wednesday.

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For India, Boby Singh Dhami (2’), Sharda Nand Tiwari (8’, 35’), Arijit Singh Hundal (18’), and Amandeep (60’) scored, while Australia found the back of the net through Liam Hart (3’), Jack Holland (8’), Joshua Brooks (20’, 41’) and Jake Lambeth (49’).  

1st Half

India made a superb start to the game, with Captain Uttam Singh getting to the baseline and laying it off for his deputy Boby Singh Dhami (2’) to score from their very first move. Less than a minute later, Australia equalized with Liam Hart (3’), giving the contest an emphatic start. Soon after, Australia edged ahead as Jack Holland (8’) found the back of the net. But the lead didn’t last long as Sharda Nand Tiwari’s (8’) crisp shot from the penalty corner evened up proceedings. Neither side troubled the scorers after that as the quarter ended at 2-2.  

The next quarter kicked off at a high tempo as well, with Boby Singh Dhami looking to run at the Australian defense in the early exchanges. And the pressure paid off, as Arijit Singh Hundal (18’) was able to deflect a pass past the goalkeeper to give India the lead again. A couple of minutes later, India’s goalkeeper Mohith Shashikumar saw yellow and Joshua Brooks (20’) put away the penalty to make it 3-3. And as was the case with the first quarter, neither side was able to break the deadlock and went into half-time all square.   

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In the 2nd Half

Back after the break, India continued to look for another goal and the lead. It took them five minutes, as Sharda Nand Tiwari (35’) converted another penalty corner with conviction. The lead though was wiped out in six minutes as Joshua Brooks’ (41’) penalty corner made it 4-4, with the final break in play fast approaching.  

In the final phase of play, both sides were in the hunt for the winner and increased their intensity in attack too. Four minutes in, it was Australia who got their noses ahead with Jake Lambeth’s (49’) penalty corner. India gave it their all in search of an equalizer in the final minutes, and it was Amandeep (60’) who came up with the goods just before the final hooter, as both teams shared the spoils in a 10-goal thriller.

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By Aakash Malhotra

Poet and a Storyteller

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