After Beating NZ, India Lose 1-3 to Australia in Azlan Shah Cup

Harmanpreet Singh’s goal went in vain as India lost 1-3 to Australia in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. 

3 min read
India lost 1-3 to Australia. (Photo: Hockey India)
  • India lost 1-3 to Australia in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on 2 May.

  • Harmanpreet Singh’s goal went in vain as India lost their first game of the tournament, after drawing with Great Britain and beating New Zealand.

  • India will next take on Japan on 3 May at 1.30 pm.

India squandered a goal’s lead to lose 1-3 against defending champions Australia, marking their first defeat in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Malaysia on 2 May.

After managing to hold the world champions in the first quarter, India took the initial lead in the 25th minute through a field goal from Harmanpreet Singh, but Australia later scored three field goals to maintain their position atop the round-robin league standings.

Eddie Ockenden (30th minute), Tom Craig (34th) and Tom Wickham (51st) scored for Australia, as the Indian challenge faded in the last quarter.

(Photo: Hockey India)
(Photo: Hockey India)

Australia, Nine-time winners of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, now have seven points from three outings, while last year's runner-up, India, are on four points after three matches.

Injured while diving for a long diagonal ball into the circle, goalkeeper PR Sreejesh limped off the pitch in the first quarter of the game. He was replaced by Akash Chikte in the 13th minute – while the score tally hadn’t opened yet.

India broke the deadlock to take the initial lead in the 26th minute when Harmanpreet scored a field goal. Working his way into the circle from the right, Harmanpreet crossed the ball to Mandeep in the goalmouth, but it went into the goal off a defender's stick.

Harmanpreet Singh celebrates after scoring his goal. (Photo: Hockey India)
Harmanpreet Singh celebrates after scoring his goal. (Photo: Hockey India)

Goalkeeper Chikte palmed away an Australian penalty corner shot in the 29th minute before Ockenden deflected in a long diagonal cross from Jeremy Hayward for the equaliser just before half-time.

Tom Craig then beat the Indian goalkeeper with his reverse shot after being fed by captain Matthew Swann.

The Australian goalkeeper denied India on a counter-attack in the 41st minute that saw Sardar move into the rival territory and send a pass to Akashdeep on top of the circle.

But Akashdeep's reverse shot did not create any problem for the Australian keeper.

Akashdeep Singh. (Photo: Hockey India)
Akashdeep Singh. (Photo: Hockey India)

Aaron Kleinschmidt missed a sitter after getting the ball in the Indian goalmouth, before India earned the last of their third penalty corners, but Harmanpreet's rising flick was cleared by the goalkeeper.

The third Australian goal, from Tom Wickham, came after he ran square into the circle as three Indian defenders hesitated to tackle him. Wickham slammed in a firm shot that gave no chance to the custodian.

India took off their goalkeeper to add another player in the field in a desperate attempt to stay in the contest, but the Australian defenders did not allow them a shot at the goal.

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