FIH Pro League: India beat Australia 4-3 in shootout in second leg match | Hockey News

NEW DELHI: India’s men’s hockey team on a roll as they beat Australia for the second time in three days to emerge victorious from the penalty shootout in the second leg of the FIH Pro League Wednesday at the Birsa Munda stadium in Rourkela.
The win cemented India’s top spot in the Pro League standings which they secured on Monday.
Both teams were tied 2-2 in regulation time. Veteran Guardian PR Sreejesh played under the bar in the shootout as India won 4-3 to claim their fourth win in a row.
Vivek Sagar Prasad (2nd) and Sukhjeet Singh (47th) scored for India in regulation time, while Nathan Ephrums (37th and 52nd) scored twice for Australia.
In the shootout, captain Harman Preet SinghSukhjeet and Dilpreet Singh scored as India ended their home campaign on a high.

India had won both home and away ties against world champions Germany 3-2 and 6-3, while they beat world number four Australia 5-4 in the first leg Sunday.
India got off to a flying start, earning a second-minute penalty corner. Captain Harmanpreet’s powerful drag-flick was repelled by Australian keeper Johan Durst. But the rebound was captured brilliantly by Vivek Sagar Prasad who managed a shot on goal from the top of the circle.
Vivek was playing his 100th match for India.

Pushing Australia on the back foot, India created a few more CPs in the following minutes of the first quarter but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity.
After a scoreless second quarter, Australia finally broke through in the 37th minute when Nathan Ephraums converted a penalty kick.
It took another ten minutes for India to regain the lead when Sukhjeet converted a basket in the 47th minute.
An unintentional foul from an Indian defender in the 52nd minute, however, gave Australia a crucial corner which was converted with clever execution. Anand Gupte faking a drag-flick, the stopper passed the ball to Tim Howard who put the ball between the posts.
With the scores tied at 2-2 at the end of regulation time, the two teams got into a tense shootout.
Experienced goalkeeper Sreejesh once again proved why he is a class apart as he not only made some great saves but also took a crucial reference which saved the day for India and even won the extra point for his team.
India will resume their FIH Pro League matches in May when they travel to Europe to take on Belgium, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Argentina.
(With PTI entries)


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