Australia and India will play in the final of the 10th edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup International Invitational Under-21 tournament at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium on Saturday (October 29) in Johor Bahru.
The Burras picked full points following a 6-1 crushing win over South Africa. They remained unbeaten with four wins and a 5-5 draw against India to take the top spot in the table standings.
South Africa had surprised defending champions Great Britain 5-4 in a group match three days ago. However, they fell early in the match to a Liam Hart’s second minute field goal and Cambell Geddes extended the lead 2-0 in the 26th minute via a penalty corner conversion.
Brodee Foster knocked in Australia’s third goal (41st minute). It was Brodee’s second goal in the tournament, Cooper Burns added the fifth – his sixth goal in the tournament, making him the leading scorer, and Jack Holland completed the misery on the South Africans with the sixth goal via a penalty corner in the 57th minute.
The South Africans replied through Calvin Davis’ penalty corner conversion in the 52nd minute.
The Australians amassed 13 points while India finished with eight, Great Britain and Japan share seven-equal points but the Britons have a superior goal advantage to stay in third position. South Africa ended their group matches campaign with six points while the Malaysians drew 2-2 with Japan for their first point.
India’s qualification to the final came as a big surprise as the former two-time champions had given up hope after a come-from-behind 5-5 draw against Great Britain earlier in the evening. They needed an outright win against the Britons for a direct entry into the final.
India won the title twice (2013/2014), and finished runners-up in 2012, 2015, 2018 and 2019. The Australians engraved their names in 2016 and 2017.
“This is a big surprise for us,” said India’s head coach C.R Kumar. “I was watching the match between Malaysia and Japan the host played well to avoid defeat,” said Kumar.
“This gives us an opportunity to check our mistakes in earlier matches. The final is going to be an exciting match for both teams, and fans,” added Kumar.
In Saturday’s classification matches, Australia and India go head to head in the final, Great Britain and Japan will play in the third-fourth playoff and South Africans take on the Malaysians in the fifth-sixth playoff.
(Press Release: Sultan of Johor Cup Media Team)