Britain win Sultan Azlan Shah Cup after 23 years

Britain win Sultan Azlan Shah Cup after 23 years
IPOH (AFP) – Great Britain downed Australia 4-3 in the final to win the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup after 23 years on Saturday in Malaysia.

With the victory, Britain became the first European team to win the cup since the Netherlands in 2006.

Alan Forsyth was first to score for the team in the eighth minute with a reverse stick field goal beyond the reach of goalkeeper Andrew Charter. David Goodfield plugged in the second via a penalty corner three minutes later.

In the 28th minute Eddie Ockenden’s goal from open play brought temporary relief to Australia, who were eyeing their 10th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup title since the tournament was established in 1983.

Britain were forced onto the defensive to maintain their narrow 2-1 lead.

Britain went 3-1 up in the 33rd minute with a strike from Ollie Willars, but the Kookaburras were back on track to close the gap within a minute.

Dylan Wotherspoon weaved his way into Britain’s penalty circle, relaying a perfect pass to Joshua Pollard whose clinical strike set the score 3-2.

But Britain overpowered their opponents with a fourth goal in the 43rd minute — Goodfield’s second of the night and third of the tournament.

The fourth quarter was evenly contested before Australia closed in 4-3 from a Wotherspoon goal in 48th minute.

In their previous league match, Australia had beaten Britain 2-1.

England had earlier won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup back in 1994 by beating Pakistan 5-3 on the penalties in the final.

On the other hand, India defeated New Zealand by 4-0 for third position match, and claimed the bronze medal for seventh time in the tournament. The host Malaysia defeated Japan 3-1 and took fifth position.

Australia’s Tom Craig was declared the player of the 2017 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, and Japan’s Suguru Shimmoto best goalkeeper.

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