The Indian men’s hockey team broke their 12-game winless streak against world number one Australia by winning 4-3 in game three to survive the five-match Test series at Matti Stadium, here on Wednesday.
This was India’s 13th victory over Australia in 65 hockey matches and first since 2016.
It was Mandeep Singh who set up Akashdeep Singh to score the winning goal India Other hits were Harmanpreet Singh (12), Abhishek (47) and Shamsher Singh (57). For Australia, Jack Welch (25), Aran Zalewski (32°) and Nathan Ephraums (59°) scored.
After emphasizing the strong defensive structure on the eve of the match, India captain Harmanpreet Singh ensured that his team is following it to perfection as they impressed with their individual defense to contain the Australian attacking line which has shown tremendous performance so far in these five matches. matching string.
India got out of the blocks quickly, pushing Australia back when they converted from the penalty spot in the 12th minute. It was Hardik Singh who provided the breakthrough when he made the PC through an air ball in the circle, which was badly intercepted by the Australian defender resulting in a dangerous playing foul in D .
Harmanpreet Singh, who was in great shape, was on target with a powerful flick that passed Johan Dorst at lightning speed. This was Harmanpreet’s fourth round target.
Australia had a chance to tie the score early in the second quarter when they were awarded a computer after India’s foot was fouled in the circle. But Indian goalkeeper BR Sreejesh was poised to tackle him. He first blocked a Jeremy Hayward flick and then stopped two more shots on goal along with winger Surinder backing him up.
However, Australia didn’t let the chance go as they won their second PC in the 25th minute. Although Sreejesh did a good job of blocking Hayward’s flick, the ball was edged past him by Welsh on the bounce.
Australia increased their tally at the start of the third quarter with a well-executed computer scorer by Aran Zalewski in the 32nd minute. India, however, kept calm in their pursuit and continued to hold onto the momentum – bringing the game down a notch as had been the trend in the previous two matches.
India upped the ante on their attack, resulting in their second PC of the match in the 47th minute. A fine injection by Abhishek was received by Harmanpreet only to set up the injector to deflect the ball into the post.
Contrast worked with Abhishek to perfect it. Moments later, he worked alongside Shamsher Singh to win the third Indian PC. Unfortunately, the chance went beggary after a bad execution.
With just four minutes remaining on the final shootout, Shamsher helped India win their fourth PC, and this time, he was immaculate in his efforts to pick up a rebound off Yoghraj Singh’s pull to score his side’s third.
The final few minutes were intense, with Australia scoring from a computer in the 59th minute. But careful coordination between Mandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh ensured that India finished well.
“It was a better defensive effort today. We put in a good fight on two occasions,” India coach Graham Reid said after the match.
However, he warned players not to give up too many chances to their opponent. In this case, he gave away eight PCs.
“Even though the PC conversion rate was good, we probably still gave them a lot of chances and relied a lot on our goalkeeper. Having said that, sometimes it’s good to get a win and I think that’s what the team did today. We fought hard and it was A good character-building game for us ahead of the World Cup in January.”
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