IPOH (MALAYSIA): India finished a disappointing fifth at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament after handing out a 4-1 drubbing to Ireland here on Saturday. Varun Kumar scored twice from penalty corners while Shilanand Lakra and Gurjant Singh got the other goals for India in the fifth/sixth classification match. Julian Dale exploited some poor marking by the Indian defenders to get a consolation goal for the European minnows in the final quarter.India thus got consolation revenge for the 2-3 loss to Ireland in their last league stage match on Friday which had eliminated their already slim chances of qualifying for the medal rounds. Saturday’s match capped a rather insipid campaign for India during which the only positive results were a 5-1 rout of hosts Malaysia and a 1-1 draw with European powerhouse England. India put up an improved show on the final day that ensured that Ireland did not walk away as surprise winners for the second consecutive day.India began with strong attack early on that helped them win back-to-back penalty corners in the fifth minute. It was an infringement on Ireland’s part when Simranjeet Singh was attempting a shot on goal that resulted in the penalty corner. Though the first attempt was saved, a tussle for the ball in the circle resulted in another penalty corner. This time Varun found success, ensuring India got off to a good start with 1-0 lead. The second quarter saw India up their energy and constantly attacked the Irish circle. They dominated with ball possession and attempted four shots on goal.
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