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Hockey: India pip Britain 3-2 in last match of Europe Tour
Antwerp (Belgium), March 8, 2021
Riding on striker Mandeep Singh's brace, India pipped Britain 3-2 in their last match of the Tour of Europe here on Monday.
Harmanpreet's goal in the very first minute and double goals by Mandeep Singh in the 28th and 59th minute helped India remain undefeated on the tour.
For Britain, James Gall (20') and striker Adam Forsyth (55') scored. In their previous match, India's Simranjeet Singh had scored a late goal to hold Great Britain to a 1-1 draw and against Germany, the PR Sreejesh-led side had secured a 6-1 win and a 1-1 draw, respectively.
Today India started off aggressively and earned themselves a penalty corner in the very first minute of the game. The opportunity was duly converted by Harmanpreet to give his side an early lead.
Though Britain replied to the setback with a structured attack that helped them make a foray into the striking circle, a goal was denied by the alert Indian goalkeeper Krishan B Pathak. The early advantage helped the Indian Men maintain pressure on their opponents, ending the first quarter with a 1-0 lead.
Britain drew parity in the 20th minute through midfielder James Gall's field goal. The much-needed equaliser helped his team gain the right momentum. Putting India under pressure, Britain earned themselves a penalty corner, but their attempt was derailed by a brilliant save by Sreejesh.
India's moment to regain the lead came in the 28th minute when forward Mandeep Singh successfully converted the penalty corner on a rebound.
Ahead by a goal, India rallied to extend the lead further with aggressive attack in the third quarter. Though they fetched a penalty corner in the early minute of that quarter and even made as many as five circle entries, they were denied each time. India's defence, however, remained resolute as they held on to the 2-1 lead.
Though India dominated the proceedings at the start of the fourth quarter, a quick turnaround saw Britain grabbing the opportunity as Alan Forsyth scored an equalizer in the 55th minute.
The last few minutes was a battle of nerves as both teams lived up to the billing, but it was Mandeep who rose to the occasion as his late strike help India cap off their first assignment of 2021 with a 3-2 win against Britain.