India win Azlan Shah Cup after 13 years

April 12th, 2009 - 8:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Ipoh (Malaysia), April 12 (IANS) India ended a 13-year wait to clinch the Azlan Shah Cup hockey, beating hosts Malaysia 3-1 in the final here Sunday.
Arjun Halappa, Prabhjot Singh and Shivendra Singh scored for India. Azlan Misron pulled one back for the hosts at the packed Azlan Shah Stadium.

India entered the tournament as favourites against a depleted field. Pakistan, Malaysia, New Zealand and debutant Egypt were the other teams in fray.

India were stunned in the very first match as Egypt held them 2-2, but bounced back beating Malaysia. They beat Pakistan in the semi-final to enter the title clash.

The Indians were champions in 1985, 1991 and 1995 while in 2006 they lost to Argentina in the final. Malaysia had only made to the final of the tournament in 1985 and 2007 and lost to India and Australia on both the occasion.

Halappa gave India the lead in the eighth minute. Misron, however, restored parity for Malaysia three minutes later.

The Indian team stepped up the attack and went ahead through Prabhjot’s strike in the 20th minute.

Indian defence then stood solid to thwart the attempts of Malaysian forwards. India led 2-1 at the half-time.

India consolidated their lead in the second half with Shivendra’s goal.

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