Wednesday, November 5, 2014

India stun world champions Australia 2-1 in second test

This piece was published in Sportskeeda

The Australians were dominant in the opening Test against India at the Perth Hockey Stadium in Perth on Tuesday. The onus was on India to show some serious fight in the second test on Wednesday.

And what a performance it panned out to be – India brushed aside the cobwebs of 0-4 loss in the the opening Test with a scintillating second half performance to claw their way from a goal down to script a famous 2-1 win over world champions Australia. It was India’s first win over Australia in four years – the last victory coming at the 2010 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup where they won 4-3.

The Terry Walsh-coached side exhibited much better hockey against the world champions even keeping the scoreline goalless in the opening quarter. Matt Ghodes had a great opportunity to score, but Indian goalkeeper Harjot Singh thwarted that effort. He later atoned for that when he weaved a slew of Indian defenders to slot home eight seconds remaining for the half-time hooter.
India were guilty of wasting several scoring chances. The Sardar Singh-led side missed as many as three penalty corners besides Lalit Upadhyay bungling a good opportunity.

India showed more purpose in the second half (third quarter) and 2014 Hero Hockey India League’s most expensive player Ramandeep Singh made the most of a counter attack to equalise and hardly had the Indians celebrated that goal, vastly experienced SV Sunil put their side ahead as they went into the final quarter holding a 2-1 lead. Sunil’s goal was of the top order as he essayed a magnificent run and finished off his move with a superb reverse shot beating the Aussie goalie all ends up.

The series is now level at 1-1 with the third Test to be played on November 8.
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