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Hockey : India impressive in defeat

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 - 8:00am IST | Place: Glasgow | Agency: dna

Sardar Singh & Co concede 3 goals in first half hour but restrict Australia to respectable 4-2 margin
  • India‚Äôs Manpreet Singh in action against Australia at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre on Tuesday AFP

The Indians down by three goals within the first half hour, re-grouped themselves well to restrict the final score to a fairly respectable 2-4 against the much decorated Australian side in the preliminary Group A match in men's section.

It was India's first loss after wins over Scotland and Wales and they have one more match against South Africa, where a draw should suffice for the Indians to get to the last four stage.

At the Glasgow National Hockey Centre on Tuesday, Australia, who thrashed India 8-0 in the final four years ago, looked like getting off to a similar performance as they quickly scored twice in the 15th and 17th minutes to move to 2-0, from Chris Ciriello, who converted a penalty corner and Simon Orchard.

In the first half, soon after the first two goals, Ramandeep Singh had only the goalkeeper, Andrew Charter to beat, but he missed in the 23rd minute.

A mistake by Rupinder Pal in the defence gave Jacob Whetton a chance to score the third goal in the 27th minute, but fortunately the Indians did instead of wilting under the pressure managed a goal through penalty corner goal in the 35th minute by Rupinder Pal Singh.

Rupinder made up for the errors in the third goal, as he converted the second penalty corner which India got. That gave them a much needed breather as they went into half time at 1-3.

In the second half, the Indians lost Sardar Singh at the start through a green card suspension for two minutes. And late in the match, SV Sunil also was suspended for two minutes, but the Indians did well not to concede in those periods. Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh once again had good match, saving some really good efforts from the defending champions.

There were equal exchanges, with Ramandeep Singh making good forays and Nikkin Thimmaiah also made some attempts. In between in the 49th minute, Indian efforts bore fruit as Ramandeep seemed to make up for missing the first-half sitter and scored to make it 2-3.

However in the very next minute, Kothajit's save off a penalty corner gave Australia a penalty stroke, which Ciriello converted to make the score 4-2 and it stayed till the end.

Sreejesh again had a great day as has often happened this year. He managed to keep the Australians at bay in the second half except for the stroke.

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