India defeated Pakistan 4-0 in the invitational under-21 Sultan of Johor Cup hockey tournament today. Pakistan had earlier defeated Korea (3-0) and England (6-2), with Muhammad Dilber netting two goals in each match to establish himself as the tournament top scorer.
India won both their opening games too but struggled to beat England (2-1) and Argentina (3-2) in their opening matches. The contest against Pakistan will be crucial for defending champions India. The tournament, in its second year, is being played at Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
Meanwhile, hosts Malaysia remain undefeated and are on top (9 points from 3 matches) of the six team championship. The hosts beat England 3-1 today.
Follow the match as it happened here:
19:08 (IST): India emerge comprehensive 4-0 winners. All four goals came in the second session. Sukhmanjit (2), Imran and Ramandeep scored for India. This is India's third win on-the-trot while Pakistan lose their first match. India play Korea tomorrow while hosts Malaysia clash with Pakistan.
19:01 (IST): Less than four minutes left on the clock. India toy with the Pakistanis who look totally subdued. India sit pretty at 4-0.
18:57 (IST): India make it 4-0 in the 61st minute. Ramandeep Singh caps a sizzling move down the centre. Imran Khan and Mohammed Amir Khan set up Ramandeep with some lovely coordination. This has been the best goal of the match. Had all the ingredients of classical Asian hockey.
18:51 (IST): Pakistan have scored nine goals in their first two matches. Today their strikers look totally off colour. Nerves or just lack of ideas? India continue to lead 3-0 with 12 minutes left on the clock.
18:44 (IST): India look in control now. Less than 18 minutes left on the clock. Sukhmanjit has been India's man of the day but Imran has impressed with his positional sense. His goal, India's second, was a result of a cool finish after a goalmouth melee.
18:40 (IST): India make it 3-0 in the 46th minute. Sukhmanjit Singh scores from the spot after the umpire awarded India a stroke. This is Sukhmanjit's second goal in the match. India got the stroke after Ramandeep was fouled in the striking circle.
18:37 (IST): India make it 2-0 in the 45th minute. Imran Khan scores a field goal.
18:33 (IST): India waste their third penalty corner in the 42nd minute. Manpreet shot saved. India lead 1-0. Sukhmanjit's goal has injected some urgency into the Indian side.
18:28 (IST): India draw first blood in the 38th minute. Sukhmanjit Singh scores from a penalty corner, India's first in the second session. Brilliant finish from an indirect set piece. India have to keep the pressure now.
18:24 (IST): India need luck and some better effort in the scoring circle in the second session. The woodwork denied the young Indian team in the first session but this should be an attracting half. Both teams have won a penalty corner each. All eyes on Ramandeep and Manpreet Singh.
18:16 (IST): The first half ends 0-0. India twice attacked the scoring circle but lacked good finishing. It's been a rather boring session with both teams generally playing safe hockey. India have to win the match. A draw will suit Pakistan because they have a very good goal difference.
18:08 (IST): Both India and Pakistan locked at 0-0 after 30 minutes. The teams look defensive with very few concerted attacks.
18:04 (IST): It's still 0-0 after 25 minutes. India have a slight edge.
17:59 (IST): India come close to scoring in the 21st minute. But Ramandeep Singh fails to give the final touches. It's still 0-0.
17:53 (IST): India won their first penalty corner in the 15th minute but luck denied them. A brilliant drag flick by Sukhmanjit Singh hits the right post. It's still 0-0.
17:47 (IST): 0-0 after 10 minutes. Pakistan attacking from both flanks. Indians missing control in the mid-field.
17:43 (IST): Pakistan waste their first penalty corner in the fifth minute. Bad trapping helps Indian defenders clear the ball easily. Pakistan have been attacking in the first five minutes with Muhammad Dilber looking very good. Dilber is the leading scorer with four goals in two matches.
17:25 (IST): With two wins from as many games, India have consolidated their position in the league standings alongside arch-rivals Pakistan on six points apiece.
17:21 (IST): Ramandeep Singh's brace had given India a 3-2 win over Argentina on Monday despite falling behind twice. Earlier, India had defeated England 2-1 in their tournament-opener on Sunday.
17:14 (IST): Pakistan are the current table-toppers with six points thanks to wins over Korea (3-0) and England (6-2), with Muhammad Dilber netting two goals in each match to establish himself as the tournament top scorer.
The invitational under-21 Sultan of Johor Cup hockey tournament is set to be a three-team event with Pakistan, Malaysia and India in the forefront. India won the inaugural edition in 2012.