India nail Pakistan; Australia champions

Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh struck twice as India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan 4-2 in a thrilling match and avoided the wooden spoon in the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament here on Sunday.

Rupinder scored through a penalty corner in the ninth minute and from a penalty stroke in the 62nd minute.

India’s other field goals came from Akashdeep Singh in the 35th minute and Malak Singh in the 44th minute of the fifth-sixth place classification match.

For Pakistan, who ended the tournament at the last spot, skipper Muhammad Imran scored in the seventh minute through a penalty corner while Kashif Shah Syed found the target in the 46th minute.

Both sides played a fast-paced attacking hockey entertaining the good number of holiday crowd that turned up to watch the inconsequential match. 

With the win, the Indian side, mainly comprising junior players, stamped their authority over Pakistan in the tournament having won the league encounter also 3-1.

Australia extended their domination as they bagged their seventh Azlan Shah title after a 3-2 win over hosts Malaysia in the summit clash.

In an action-packed final match, Australia’s Trent Milton fired in the winning goal from a pass by Robert Hammond just ahead of the final hooter to stun the 15,000-odd Malaysian supporters. 

Nicholas Budgeon (27th) and Craig Boyne were the other scorers for the Aussies. Saari Faizal (4th) and Ahmed Tajudin (48th) sounded the board for Malaysia.

Stung by the early goal, the Australians struck back and the first move had an air typical Aussie assurance.

Bronze for Korea

South Korea came up with all guns blazing to beat New Zealand 2-1 and clinch the bronze medal.
For the winners, Hyan Hye Sung struck a penalty corner goal in the 32nd minute and seasoned Nam Hyun Woo slotted home from another penalty corner in the 57th minute.

For New Zealand, Stephen Jenness scored a field goal in the 40th minute.

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