FIH Pro League: India defeat Australia 4-3; finish with shootout victory : The Tribune India

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FIH Pro League: India defeat Australia 4-3; finish with shootout victory

FIH Pro League: India defeat Australia 4-3; finish with shootout victory

India let in just one goal from the seven penalty corners they conceded against Australia. HI



PTI

Rourkela, March 15

India beat Australia for the second time in three days as the home side emerged victorious in the penalty shootout in the second leg of the FIH Pro League here today.

The two teams were locked 2-2 during regulation time.

Veteran goalkeeper PR Sreejesh starred in the shootout which India won 4-3 to notch up their fourth win on the trot at the Birsa Munda Stadium. The win cemented India’s top position in the standings.

Vivek Sagar Prasad celebrates after scoring India’s opening goal. HI

Vivek Sagar Prasad (2nd minute) and Sukhjeet Singh (47th) scored for India in regulation time, while Nathan Ephraums (37th and 52nd) struck twice for Australia. In the shootout, captain Harmanpreet Singh, Sukhjeet and Dilpreet Singh scored as India ended their home campaign in style. India had won both their double-legged matches against world champions Germany 3-2 and 6-3 while they had beaten world No. 4 Australia 5-4 in the first leg match.

“Great to play in front of this Rourkela crowd and keep up our winning streak through the mini-tournament,” said Harmanpreet, who was awarded the Player of the Match award. “Very proud of the way the team has played together and we will continue to improve,” he added.

India got off to a rollicking start, earning a penalty corner in the second minute. Captain Harmanpreet’s powerful drag-flick was padded away by Australian keeper Johan Durst. But the rebound was picked up brilliantly by Vivek who took a successful shot on goal from the top of the circle.

Vivek was playing his 100th match for India.

Pushing Australia on the back foot, India created a couple of more PCs in the following minutes of the first quarter but could not make much of the opportunity.

After a goal-less second quarter, Australia finally made a breakthrough in the 37th minute when Ephraums converted a penalty stroke.

It took India another 10 minutes to regain the lead when Sukhjeet converted a field goal in the 47th minute.

An unintended foul by an Indian defender in the 52nd minute, however, gave away a crucial penalty corner to Australia which was converted with a clever execution. Anand Gupte faking a drag-flick, the stopper passed the ball to Ephraums who put the ball in between the posts.

India will resume their FIH Pro League matches in May when they travel to Europe to take on Belgium, Great Britain, Netherlands and Argentina.


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