FIH Pro League: Indian Men's Hockey Team Go Down Fighting To Australia

FIH Pro League: Indian Men's Hockey Team Go Down Fighting To Australia

Indian men's hockey team tried their best, but Australia emerged on top with a scoreline of 4-6.

PTIUpdated: Thursday, February 15, 2024, 10:55 PM IST
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Indian men's hockey team. | (Credits: Twitter)

Skipper Harmanpreet Singh's brace went in vain as the Indian men's hockey team conceded three goals in the final quarter to lose 4-6 to Australia in a FIH Pro League match in Bhubaneswar on Thursday. It was Australia who started and finished the match in style with the Indians dominating in the middle period.

Harmanpreet (12th, 20th minutes) converted two penalty corners, while Sukhjeet Singh (18th) and Mandeep Singh (29th) were the other goal getters for India.

Blake Govers struck twice for Australia in the second minute besides Aran Zalewski (40th), Lahlan Sharp (52nd), Jacon Anderson (55th) and Jack Welch (58th). The Kookaburras took India for a surprise at the start of the match with Govers handing the visitors a 2-0 lead in the second minute.

Harmanpreet Singh cashes in on the first penalty corner:

He first scored from Australia's first penalty corner past India custodian Krishan Bahadur Pathak and then doubled his side's lead with an unstoppable shot past the goalkeeper. It was full press from the Kookaburras in the first 10 minutes as they secured another penalty corner soon but the Indians defended stoutly.

It was relentless pressure from Australia and it took a save from Pathak to deny Welch from a penalty corner. In the 12th minute, India secured their first penalty corner and Harmanpreet made no mistake, firing in with a rocket flick which Australia goalkeeper Andrew Charter had no answer to.

India grew in confidence with the goal and started to dominate the proceedings and minutes later Abhishek' shot from Sukhjeet's feed was saved by Charter. The hosts continued their attacking game and secured their second penalty corner soon but it was wasted.

Harmanpreet again gives India lead but Australia emerge triumphant:

Sukhjeet levelled the scores for India in the 18th minute, putting in a wobbly ball from Abhishek.

Two minutes later, Harmanpreet gave India the lead converting another penalty corner and then a minute from half-time Mandeep scored with a bullet shot from top of the D after receiving a defence splitting 45 degree ball from his skipper.

Trailing by two goals, Australia pressed hard after the change of ends and earned a couple of penalty corners and from one such chance, Zalewski deflected in Goovers flick.

The fourth and final quarter completely belonged to Australia as they pumped in three more goals through Sharp, Anderson and Welch to pocket three points from the game.

India will next play Ireland in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

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