Day 5- Sultan of Johor Cup 2022

The final day of the round robin matches at the Sultan of Johor Cup and only two things were locked in,


Australia would play in the gold medal match and Malaysia would play off for sixth place. For all the other teams there was plenty to play for.

The opening game was the most crucial. India would play Great Britain. Both teams had to win to be assured of playing Australia in the Gold medal match. A draw would leave the door open for Japan or South Africa to leapfrog them and claim that place, but they would need to beat Malaysia and Australia respectively.

Great Britain and India had met in the last two finals of the Sultan of Johor Cup and coming into 2022 Great Britain were looking to become the first team to win three events back-to-back.

It was Great Britain who were off to the perfect start when Max Anderson slotted home with just 40 seconds having elapsed.

It did not take India long to respond and in the 7th minute Poovanna pulled them level and set the trend for this game, which was extremely open and played in stifling conditions.

At the start of the second half, it was James Valley and Max Anderson who combined superbly for Great Britain down the right-hand side and Anderson netted his second.

Three minutes later India went to sleep at a free hit and allowed Harry Stone to take the ball five metres and into the circle and score unopposed to give Great Britain a 3-1 which they took into the final break.

What a final 15 minutes we witnessed!  Good work by Boby along the baseline saw him pull the ball back to Amandeep who pulled one goal back for India in the 50th minute.

Three minutes later India were level when Hundal scored with an overhead smash more appropriate at Wimbledon after the ball had ballooned up in the air.

This Great Britain side though still had plenty of fight in them and when Jamie Golden scored two goals in two minutes to put Great Britain 5-3 ahead with four minutes left it looked as if they had booked their place in the final.

However, from the restart India won a penalty corner and up stepped Sharda to make it 5-4. Remarkably with two minutes left they won another penalty corner and Sharda delivered again. The game ended 5-5. Great Britain would not contest the final, and India would have to wait on the results of the other matches.

If Japan won their match against a yet-to-win Malaysia, they could possibly have met Australia in the final, but it would depend on the result of the Australia v South Africa match.

After a dour first half the game came to life in the second half. Kobayashi flicking home a penalty corner in the 34th minute to give Japan the lead.

Yet Malaysia has been improving with every game and when they won a penalty corner in the 39th minute Mamat was on hand again to score and pull them level.

Soon after a shot from Yasuda deflected up in the air and Amir in goal for Malaysia had to run back and tip it over the crossbar. This save would prove vital.

Two minutes later Malaysia took the lead for the first time in the tournament when Shahmie converted a penalty corner, and the crowd almost took the roof off the stadium.

Unfortunately, they could not hang on and claim victory with Saeki converting another penalty corner that saw the game end 2-2.

Now India would have to wait on the outcome of the South African game against Australia, so too would Japan as it would determine if they would play off for a medal or the wooden spoon.

If South Africa won, they would contest the gold medal match tomorrow against Australia. If they lost by two goals, they would still play off for the bronze medal but a loss by more would see them meet Malaysia.

Liam Hart opened the scoring for Australia after just one minute and 13 seconds. In the 26th minute Campbell Geddes scored his first goal of the tournament from a penalty corner to make it 2-0, and that was the score at half time.

Brodee Foster made it 3-0 with a rasping reverse stick shot in the 41st minute.

In the final quarter Calvin Davis pulled one back for South Africa from a penalty corner, and suddenly they looked like they would be playing for bronze.

Unfortunately, three quick goals all from penalty corners converted by Cooper Burns, Jack Holland and Geddes sealed a victory for Australia with a final score of 6-1.

Which means Australia will meet India in the gold medal match, Great Britain will play Japan for bronze and Malaysia and South Africa will contest 5th and 6th place.

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