India and Korea were declared joint champions in the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament on Sunday. Heavy rain forced the Tournament Committee to come to this unprecedented decision.
This is the first time that the finalists have been declared as joint winner in the tournament being held from 1983.
The cup final was seven minutes old when rain began to pound the turf and flooding the surface. The Tournament Director, Paul Edwards, and the officials conferred for quite a while to consider various options but eventually decided to declare the teams as joint winners.
India was the defending champion in the tournament.
Touching a brilliant patch in the second half after sharing two goals at half-time, Australia claimed the bronze with a 5-3 victory. It was a deserving victory for the fast paced Aussies who overcame a soggy pitch following rain that delayed the start by an hour.
Malaysia did produce an impressive show in the first half, scoring ahead of the Aussies in the early part of the match. But the Aussies, served beautifully by the hard working Matthew Swann, slowly built up pressure and beat off the challenge posed by goal keeper Kumar Subramaniam.
The best goal for the Aussies surfaced when Russel Ford struck a backhander with remarkable power and precision to beat Kumar Subramaniam. This goal gave Australia the 2-1 lead.
Interrupted by rain more than the match between Pakistan and China went in to full distance till a goal by Rasool in the sudden death pace decided the issue. Pakistan finished fifth.
The teams were level,1-1 at the end of the regulation time and tied at 5-5 in the tie breaker forcing the induction of the sudden death period.
(5-6) Pakistan 6 (Shafqat Rasool.--Tie Breaker--Kashif Ali, Shafaqat Rasool, Zubair Muhammad, Ifran Muhammad, Tauseeq Ahmed- Sudden death: Shafaqat Rasool) beat China 5 (Na Yubo- TB-Liu Yixian, Yang Dong, Ji Mi, Liu Xianting, Sun Tianjun) HT 0-1.
(3-4) Australia 5 ( Matthew Swann, Russel Ford, Kieran Govers, Christopher Cirello, Grant Schubert) beat Malaysia 3 (Hanafi Hafizhafiz, Rahim Mohammad Amin, Tajunddin) HT 1-1.
Final: India- Korea declared as joint champions.
Final placings:1 India and Korea,3 Australia,.4. Malaysia 5.Pakistan 6.China 7. Egypt
Special Awards: Top goal scorer: Nam Hyun Woo (Korea) 9 goals. Player of the tournament: Sardar Singh (India). Best goal-keeper: Kumar Subramaniam (Malaysia); Fair Play trophy: Egypt.
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