1. Champions Australia

1. Champions Australia

Australia showed why they are the World Champions when they edged England 2 – 1 in the finals of the 27th edition of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, hosted in Ipoh, Malaysia. Ranked World No. 1, Australia kept a clean record of five wins in five matches going into the finals to face the 7th ranked England.

2. 1st Runners- up England

2. 1st Runners- up England

Despite a lacklustre game, picking up only after Australia’s Blake Govers broke the duck in the 38th minute through a penalty corner, the two goals were enough for Australia to be declared the champions for a Perfect 10, from their 15 campaigns at this invitational international men’s field hockey tournament.

 3. 2nd Runners-up Argentina

3. 2nd Runners-up Argentina

Shortly after Govers’ goal, Australia took their advantage further via another goal by Lachlan Sharp in the 53rd minute. Despite being two goals down, England fought back and managed to put a goal into the net in the very next minute through Sam Ward’s field goal.

4. Fair Play (Piala Raja Ashman Shah) - Australia, received on behalf by striker Trent Mitton

4. Fair Play (Piala Raja Ashman Shah) – Australia, received on behalf by striker Trent Mitton

A tight match it was, putting hockey fans on the edge of their seats. Even as England piled on the pressure by taking out their goalkeeper, the Kookaburras managed to ward off England’s attack, who had to settle for second best in this tournament. It was sweet revenge for the Aussies as Great Britain, whom England is part of, denied the Kookaburras their 10th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Championships last year by registering a 4-3 win.

5. Man of the March - Mark Knowles (Australia)

5. Man of the March – Mark Knowles (Australia)

It was a fitting victory for Australia team captain, Mark Knowles, who celebrated his 34th birthday on the day of the finals (10th March). He was also awarded Man of the Match for the tournament. This was Knowles’ final campaign in Ipoh as he retires from international hockey after the Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia this April. Knowles is a regular face at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, having won five titles.

 6. Top Goal Scorer - Gonzalo Peilat from Argentina with 8 goals

6. Top Goal Scorer – Gonzalo Peilat from Argentina with 8 goals

Earlier in the day, hosts Malaysia played reigning Olympic gold medallists Argentina for the bronze medal. Argentina, who lost to World No. 12 Malaysia 1-2 in the earlier part of the tournament during the Round Robin stage weren’t going to allow history to repeat. They made sure of that by scoring two goals in the first quarter, almost from the get go, at the 38th second.

7. Best Goalkeeper - George Pinner of England

7. Best Goalkeeper – George Pinner of England

Although Malaysia had played some brilliant hockey throughout the tournament, the Speedy Tigers were no match to the South Americans, whose last appearance at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup was in 2012, when they emerged as the 1st runners-up.

8. Player of the Tournament - Daniel Beale (Australia)

8. Player of the Tournament – Daniel Beale (Australia)

The 5th and 6th placing play-off was between India and Ireland, who was on their maiden Sultan Azlan Shah tournament. India, led by captain Sardar Singh, won 4-1 against Ireland in the heat of the day. Despite the circumstances, and with players down with illness, the Irish boys were definitely no walkover for their opponents.

9. Birthday Boy, Mark Knowles, and his parents take a photo with the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup - his fifth title and final outing at the tournament prior to retirement from international hockey

9. Birthday Boy, Mark Knowles, and his parents take a photo with the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup – his fifth title and final outing at the tournament prior to retirement from international hockey

This 27th edition of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup featured six top men’s field hockey teams, who will all compete in the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup to be held this November in Bhubaneswar, India.

Roll of Honour:
Champions: Australia
1st Runners-up: England
2nd Runners-up: Argentina

Special Awards
Best Player of the Tournament: Daniel Beale (Australia)
Man of the Match: Mark Knowles (Australia)
Top Goal Scorer: Gonzalo Peillat (Argentina – 8 goals)
Best Goalkeeper: George Pinner (England)
Fair Play (Piala Raja Ashman Shah): Australia

Event: 2018 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup – Day 6
Venue: Stadium Azlan Shah, Ipoh
Date: 10th March, 2018
Time: from 3.30pm

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