India 3-1 Canada- Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2008

Eight time Olympic medallists India finally got their act together as they beat Canada 3-1 in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. India, who had earlier lost 3-4 to New Zealand and 1-5 to Argentina, came up with an improved performance to win the game 3-1 despite conceding the lead to the Canadians.

Canada, who beat Belgium 1-0 in their opening game, took the lead through Wayne Fernandes’ penalty corner in the ninth minute. India did not look up to the task in the first half, and the players showed signs of fatigue. The Asian side’s cause was not helped when their top scorer and first choice penalty corner taker, Sandeep Singh was injured after being hit on the right knee.

Canada lead 1-0 going into the break, but they certainly did not expect the Indians to come out all guns blazing in the second half. S.V. Sunil earned India a penalty stroke in the 45th minute, and Diwakar Ram made no mistake- the score was 1-1. Six minutes later, Ram was in action again, converting a penalty corner to give India the lead. And two minutes later, India sealed their win when Sardara Singh’s free hit was deflected by Sunil into the path of Shivendra Singh, who slotted it in to make it 3-1.

This is India’s first win in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, and they have to lift themselves up if they don’t want to finish with the wooden spoon in this tournament.

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