Four Nations Tournament | Indian men falter but the women pick up historic win

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Four Nations Tournament | Indian men falter but the women pick up historic win

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SportsCafe Desk

11/23/2016

India lost their opening match to Australia in the Four Nations Tournament in Melbourne in a close encounter that saw 5 goals being scored. The women's team, however, picked up their first points in the tournament with a win over the home team by a solitary Rani Rampal goal in the second quarter.

The men's team succumbed to a loss in their first match of the tour with 3-2 loss to the hosts at Melbourne. The first quarter proved to be a bit of a drag with neither side managing to get their name on the scoreboard, but it was the Indians who were looking like the more dangerous side.

It was India who did take the lead in the second quarter when Rupinder Pal Singh, who was India's top scorer in the Asian Champions Trophy success, smashed in the ball from a Sardar Singh penalty corner. However, it didn't take the Aussies long to equalize, and they did it the same fashion. Jez Hayward's drag flick off a penalty corner in the 24th minute meant that the sides went into the halfway break with the scores level.

After the break, Hayward gave Australia the lead through yet another penalty corner that Birendra Lakra had conceded. The Aussies were proving to be clinical with their penalty corners having a 100% conversion ratio and increased their lead through Trent Mitton. Hayward's shot was saved by the keeper but, the 25-year-old Aussie followed up to give the home side a comfortable lead.

India managed to score a goal with eight minutes to go though a Rupinder penalty corner, but it proved to be no more than a consolation goal as the Aussies ran out 3-2 winners in the first match.

Earlier in the day, the Indian women's hockey team were able to pull off an upset against a much fancied Australian side in the first of three-Test match series. The Aussies, ranked 4th in the world, created a host of chances but were unable to break down the resolute Indian defence who are ranked 12th.

A second-quarter goal by captain Rani Rampal set up the win that was the first for the Asian team against the Aussies. The Aussies tried their best to get back on level terms but India's goalkeeper Rajani Etimmarpu made sure that the historic win was confirmed at the final whistle.

The men's team take on Malaysia in the next match tomorrow while the women will play the replay of the match on Nov 25.

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