Hockey World League Finals: India hold Austrailian 1-1

Dec 02, 2017, 15:19 IST | Sundeep Misra

Frailities are sometimes like second skin; and just when it seemed that an Indian team would slowly tighten the screws on a slightly under-cooked Aussie side

Frailities are sometimes like second skin; and just when it seemed that an Indian team would slowly tighten the screws on a slightly under-cooked Aussie side, India misfired but eventually clinched a 1-1 draw in their opening match of the Hockey World League Finals in a packed Kalinga Stadium. Indian hockey has been for long exposed to the brutal realities of the higher levels of world hockey. But today when the team would go back and rewind the match, it would be painfully evident that a chance was thrown away.

India and Austrailian players greet each other after 1-1 draw at the Men's Hockey World League Final 2017 in Bhubaneswar. Pic/AFP
India and Austrailian players greet each other after 1-1 draw at the Men's Hockey World League Final 2017 in Bhubaneswar. Pic/AFP

In fact, chances were thrown away and right in the first minute – all between the space of 20 seconds. And both times Gurjant Singh, a man known to put away half-chances messed up with two. The argument would be early goals are no winning situations in a match but yet pressure would have been on Australia to fight back, exposing their defence in the later quarters. India scored off Mandeep Singh in the 20th minute when Manpreet Singh and Lalit Upadhyay created an opening that Mandeep exploited to the hilt.

Australia equalised within a minute; a soft goal that beat Akash Chikte. But then two quarters of hide and seek couldn't resolve the issue. Both teams had the opportunities. But fraility was once again India's bug bear. India had four penalty corners to Australia's six. The hosts on one point now play England on Saturday who lost their opening encounter to Germany.

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