India draw sees U21s into Sultan of Johor Cup final

India draw sees U21s into Sultan of Johor Cup final
Great Britain 3 (1)
Wall (27’, FG)
McConnell (32’, FG)
Ramshaw (59’, FG)

India 3 (0)
Lakra (48’, FG)
Mor (51’, PC)
Tiwari (57’, FG)

Great Britain’s U21s booked their place in Saturday’s Sultan of Johor Cup final with a dramatic 3-3 draw with India, who they will face again in tomorrow’s gold medal match. 

Though GB had led for the majority of the match, a four-goal frenzy in the closing quarter saw India go 3-2 up before Matthew Ramshaw’s last minute drag flick secured a draw to see the team advance to the final.

Despite seeing a low scoring opening half, there was action aplenty at both ends of the field as both sides looked to avoid going behind.

India earned the first penalty corner of the match with three minutes left of the opening quarter, the initial attempt being well stopped by Oliver Payne’s boot before the follow up effort was dragged wide.

Having been brought on at the break, James Mazarelo was quickly called into action and did superbly well to prevent India from taking the lead from a 1 v 1 situation, with an excellent save keeping the scores level.

Great Britain created a dangerous opportunity of their own as the quarter advanced but were unable to make the most of it with the final shot coming off the backstick.

The team took the lead through a sublime drag flick from Ioan Wall which powered underneath the goalkeeper to put GB ahead. 

Mazarelo made another sensational save moments before half-time as he blocked Shilanand Lakra’s deflection from close range to preserve the lead.

Immediately after the break, Jon Bleby’s side doubled their advantage, Andrew McConnell producing a fantastic finish with his back to goal as he swept the ball past the ‘keeper on the reverse stick.

India looked to reply immediately and came close from a penalty corner but again found Payne in goal, GB then countering and nearly finding a third only for Daniel West’s attempt to go just wide.

As the final quarter got underway, India clawed one back with Lakra getting on the end of a splitting pass into the circle to put their side back in contention.

The team put two more in the back of the net shortly after as Mandeep Mor’s attempt found the target from a penalty corner to restore parity before Nand Sharda Tiwari converted a penalty stroke to give India a 3-2 lead with very little time remaining.

However, Great Britain were able to come back, Ramshaw’s brilliant drag flick finding the back of the net in the final minute to book a rematch against India in Saturday’s 12:40pm BST final, which you can live stream HERE. 

Starting XI: Payne (GK), Nurse, Oates, Griffiths, Ramshaw, West, Park, Wall, Williamson, Buckle, Rushmere

Subs: Mazarelo (GK), Stanley, Russell, Golden, Bhuhi, MacKenzie, McConnell