India lift 18th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, beat Malaysia 3-1

April 12th, 2009 - 8:09 pm ICT by ANI  

Ipoh (Malaysia), Apr 12 (ANI): Making a superb display of speed and execution of planning on the field, the Indian hockey team on Sunday beat the host Malaysia team by 3-1 to lift the 18th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup here on Sunday.

India won this prestigious tournament after 13 years of gap.

Sunday’s win made India a champion for the fourth time, the previous three occasions being 1985, 1991 and 1995. India had made it to the finals on other two occasions in 2006 and 2008. India had lost 1-2 to Argentina in last year’s final.

On Sunday, Arjun Halappa put India into lead as early in the 8th minute of the game but the happiness in the Indian camp were short-lived as Azlon Mizron restored parity for Malaysia.

Prabhjot Singh scored the second goal in the 20th minute. While Shivender Singh scored the third goal for his team.

On Saturday, India had overcome its arch-rival Pakistan with 2-1 score, ensuring a contest with Malaysia in their sixth final in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

The Malaysians, on the other sided, had booked their third berth in Sunday’s final by drawing 1-1 with New Zealand. In 1985, they had lost the final match to India and in 2007 to Australia.

On Saturday, it was skipper Sandeep Singh’s two goals against Pakistan, which helped India its victory over Pakistan hockey team. India needed a draw to reach finals.

Indian players certainly had a psychological edge for the final match, as they had already crushed Malaysia 3-0 in the league stage.
The two teams had last played each other in the final in 1985. This was Malaysia’s third final in the prestigious competition. Malaysia had drawn 1-1 with New Zealand to reach the finals this time.(ANI)

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