Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2017: Tough Aussies too hard for India to beat

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Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2017: Tough Aussies too hard for India to beat

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SportsCafe Desk

05/02/2017

The Australian side came from behind to register a 3-1 victory over India after Harmanpreet Singh put India in front. PR Sreejesh's absence at the goal was utilised by the Australian side to the fullest as they hit 3 goals past replacement goalie Akash Chikte to register their 2nd win in the Cup.

First Quarter:

The Australian side started on the offence and tried to catch India before they were warmed up in the first minute itself but the Indian defence successfully avoided the attack. India slowly steadily built up the momentum to attack the Australian goal but the Aussie defence stood their ground but Indian managed to win a penalty corner in the 4th minute but some poor handling by Harmanpreet Singh saw a good chance go by. The Australian side attacked the Indian goal and got a shot on target but was denied by the Indian captain and goalie Sreejesh in the 7th minute. The Indian side won another penalty corner in the 12th minute and this time they were on target but denied by the Aussie goalie Lovell who got a firm hand to the ball. India continued on the offensive and created another chance in the 15th minute but Akashdeep's smart attempt failed to get the ball behind the goal line. The Indian defence was given a major blow when PR Sreejesh went out injured after a collision with an Australian player. The quarter ended with a scoreline of India 0-0 Australia   

Second Quarter:

The second quarter was largely uneventful to begin with until Mandeep Singh hit an SV Sunil pass but the ball came off the far post. India finally got a breakthrough in the 29th minute when Harmanpreet Singh once again scored off a Mandeep Singh assist and got India the lead against the reigning champions. Australia did not let the lead perturb their offensive game and straight away went for the kill in the 33rd minute through a penalty corner but were denied by Chikte who had replaced Sreejesh. Eddie Ockenden scored the equaliser though when he fired the ball home from the narrowest of angles in the 35th minute. The first half ended with the scoreline of India 1-1 Australia.

Third Quarter:

Australia continued to attack the Indian goal and won a penalty corner 2 minutes after the resumption of the game but the strong Indian defence stood resolutely and did not let the Aussies score. Australia won two more penalty corners and converted one of them into a goal in the 40th minute to take the lead for the first time in the game. Tom Craig put the Aussies forward with his powerful shot. India tried to counterattack in the 48th minute but an Akashdeep shot was denied once again by Lovell. India kept attacking in the rest of the quarter but the efforts were nullified by the resolute yellow army. The third quarter ended with a scoreline of India 1-2 Australia.

Fourth Quarter:

India carried their attacking momentum in the fourth quarter and won a penalty corner three minutes into the fourth quarter. Harmanpreet's shot was yet again denied by Lovell who pushed the shot away to keep Australia in the lead. An inspirational Tom Wickham show doubled the lead for the Aussies when he went past a sea of blue jerseys and got a reverse hit to beat Chikte. The Indian side failed to capitalise when Australia was reduced to 10 men after Matthew Willis was shown a red card with eight minutes remaining in the game and the match finished with the scoreline of India 1-3 Australia.

The Australian side consolidated its first spot on the table with this victory

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