FIH Pro League: India beat Australia 5-4 for a rare win | Hockey News

ROURKELA: Captain Harman Preet Singh regained his mojo by scoring a hat trick, all from the penalty spot, to lead India to a rare 5-4 win over Australia in a nine-goal thriller in the FIH Pro-League of Hockey on Sunday.
Harmanpreet found the target in the 13th, 14th and 55th minutes after Australia took the lead in the second minute with a field goal. Joshua Beltzas the home side were leading 2-1 at the end of the first quarter.
India’s dominance continued with Jugraj Singh converting a 17th-minute penalty kick before Selvam Karti scored a basket in the 25th minute to give his team a 4-1 halftime lead.
India failed to score in the third quarter but Australia did through Ky Willott in the 42nd minute at Birsa Munda Stadium. The visitors scored two goals in the fourth period, both from penalty corners, thanks to Ben Staines and Aran Zalewski at 52 and 56 minutes respectively.
The action-packed fourth quarter produced three goals, including Harmanpreet’s from a CP in the 55th minute, which was his hat-trick.
Both teams won 10 CPs each, of which India converted three while Australia scored twice.
Australia had come here with several players who were not part of their squad which took part in the World Cup here and in Bhubaneswar in January. Eight of the current squad’s 20 players have made 10 or fewer international appearances.
Australia had finished fourth in the World Cup.
India were also without eight players from the World Cup squad, including senior players Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh and Nilakanta Sharma, after they exited ahead of the showpiece quarter-final.
India will face Germany in their second leg on Monday before facing Australia again on Wednesday.


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