HWL: How Great Britain handed India a humiliating defeat

Jul 06, 2015, 07:58 IST | V Krishnaswamy

Great Britain take advantage of Sardar & Co's weak defence and strikers' reluctance to hand them a 5-1 drubbing in bronze medal match

Antwerp: India's vulnerabilities in defence and their strikers' hesitancy was exposed for the second time in as many matches, as Great Britain taught them a lesson in fast and furious modern hockey built on counter-attacks and penalty corners conversions.

India's players. Pic/AFP
India's players. Pic/AFP 

Great Britain won 5-1 to take the third place yesterday and with it came an Olympic Qualification for Rio next year. Both coach Paul Van Ass and skipper Sardar Singh agreed on the fact that the defence needed to be strengthened and that India gave away too many goals in counter-attacks.

Forwards fail
India's forwards were reluctant to take shots and the Britons used these futile raids to their advantage by mounting quick counters, even before the Indians could catch their breath.

Alastair Brogdon got a faint touch on Dan Fox's reverse strike from off penalty corner rebound for 1-0 in the first quarter.

Off another such counter, in the 27th minute, Barry Middleton sent a long ball to Nick Catlin, who hit from well outside the circle, but Chris Griffith well position inside deflected it in.

Into the 37th minute, India's Ramandeep Singh got a ball with only goalkeeper George Pinner to beat, but he hit straight into him. Worse, after Pinner kicked the ball away, the British mounted another counter and Jackson scored for 3-0.

The floodgates seemed to open as two minutes later, Adam Dixon deflected in off a penalty corner (4-0) and another two minutes later, Middleton playing his 350th international scored his first goal of the day (5-0).

India scored a consolation in the final minute thanks to Rupinder Singh, who sent a low drag-flick past goalkeeper James Bailey, who replaced George Pinner four minutes earlier.

Australia win gold
Meanwhile, world champions Australia emereged deserving champions in the final played last night.

Chris Ciriello scored off a penalty corner in the dying minutes of the keenly contested finale to hand the Australians the gold medal against a spirited Belgium side egged on by some very vocal home support.

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