Hockey: India draw 1-1 against Australia 'A'

By Harpal Singh Bedi/NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, May 13, 2019

Trailing 0-1 till 56th minute, India managed to hold Australia 'A' to a 1-1 draw, thanks to a late equalizer by drag-flicker Harmanpreet in a well-contested hockey match in Perth on Monday.
Earlier, India had beaten Western Australia Thundersticks 2-0 and Australia 'A' 3-0 win. 
Two good saves in the initial minutes of the first quarter by goalkeeper Krishan Pathak and Gurinder Singh defended  back-to-back Penalty corners .
The saves  somewhat made up for an average start by the visitors as the Australia 'A' attack put the team under pressure right from the start.  
While the first quarter ended in a stalemate, the visitors suffered a setback in the 21st minute when Kiran Arunasalam struck a fine field goal for Australia 'A'.
India's defence, on the other hand, was able to contain the home team from taking a further lead and also came up with commendable penalty corner  defending to deny Australia 'A' from converting the two PCs they were awarded in the second and third quarter, respectively.
It was in Harmanpreet Singh's second attempt in the 56th minute that he converted a well-timed, powerful dragflick to equalise the score to 1-1. His previous attempt only a minute earlier was well-saved by an Australian defender. 
However, not being able to convert the chances created in the striking circle and missing out on three PCs dented India's fightback.  
On Wednesday, India will take on the Australian national side in what promises to be yet another exciting game and if India wish to emerge on top, it will have to perform much better. "On Wednesday we will need to start much better and play well in all four quarters. In tomorrow's practice session we will be working on our connections especially in the midfield," stated Chief Coach Graham Reid. 
He  said the team will need to start much better and keep the pressure on their opponents in all four quarters.
"Today we had a poor start in the first ten minutes of the game which was a complete opposite to how we played on Friday," Reid said. 
"We slowly got back into the game in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters and also created enough opportunities to win the game," he added.

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