Breaking their winning momentum in the second match of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, India lost to last year’s runner-up Australia 5-1 at Ipoh, Malaysia on Thursday. Rupinder Pal Singh’s goal went in vain as forceful Australia outshone India’s all hopes to victory.
Australia started off strongly in the first quarter as they troubled India’s defense with speed and earned their first penalty corner in the 5th minute. Perfectly utilizing the PC, Blake Govers scored with a drag-flick to make the score 1-0.
Bouncing back in the game, Indian drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh netted through a penalty corner in the 8th minute to draw level. Rupinder took a body blow from the rushing defender and was substituted for a good period of the next quarter.
Australia scored their second goal with two minutes left in the quarter to clinch an emphatic 2-1 lead over the Indians. The second quarter witnessed Australia dominate possession and force India into mistakes, as they conceded two more field goals to trail 4-1 till half time.
Post half-time, India started aggressive and were constantly using the wings, hoping to break into the Australian circle to score a goal. Australia’s defense though kept them at bay throughout. A sharp shot by Sunil saved by the Australian goalkeeper, looked India’s best attempt of the quarter.
In the final quarter, pouring forward in numbers, India hoped to reduce the deficit but were met by a resolute Australia, who did not give them an inch of space in the circle. Adding pain to their wounds, the Australians added one more goal to their tally right at the end of the match and final score read 5-1 in favour of Australia.
In their next match of the tournament, India will face Canada on 10th April, 2016.