Hockey

India loses to Australia

Govers and Hayward score a brace each

World No. 2 Australia blanked the Indian men’s hockey team 4-0 in the fourth match of the tour Down Under with Blake Govers and Jeremy Hayward scoring a brace each here on Wednesday.

After being unbeaten in the first three matches, world No. 5 India was handed a lesson with Govers (15th and 60th minutes) and Hayward (20th and 59th) finding the target.

Successive blows

India started well and pressed Australia higher up the field, but was dealt two successive blows in five minutes.

India earned a penalty corner in the fifth minute, but Harmanpreet Singh’s shot was successfully blocked by the first rusher.

In the 12th minute, Harmanpreet played one-two with Nilakanta Sharma on the right flank. Nilakanta sent a well-calculated through-ball back to the defender, but he failed to reach the ball quickly enough.

Seconds from the first quarter, Australia secured its first penalty corner, which resulted in a stroke and Govers made no mistake from the set-piece.

Five minutes into the second-quarter, Australia earned back-to-back penalty corners and from the second chance, Hayward beautifully flicked the ball low into the right side of the goal, past the Indian custodian Krishan Bahadur Pathak to double the lead.

Three minutes later, Pathak came to India’s rescue, denying Australia from another penalty corner opportunity.

Missed chance

Aaron Kleinschmidt missed a great chance for Australia in the 25th minute as he found himself unmarked inside the box, but shot just wide off the post.

India won its fifth penalty corner through Sumit Kumar, but Australian goalkeeper Johan Durst made a brilliant double-save to deny Harmanpreet.

The host’s fifth penalty corner in the last minute of the second quarter saw Trent Mitton’s shot forcing a great save from Pathak on his right, which meant Australia took a two-goal advantage into the break.

The third quarter witnessed a close battle between both the teams but Australia defended stoutly to keep the Indian strikers at bay.

Diving stop

India started the last quarter well and captain Manpreet Singh created the first chance as he ran into the striking circle and shot at the goal, but Durst made a diving stop on his left.

India secured another penalty corner in the 51st minute but Harmanpreet’s effort was once again saved by the Australian custodian.

Desperately in search of a goal, India withdrew its goalkeeper for an extra outfield player but the move backfired as Australia scored two goals in the last two minutes.

Australia’s third goal came off a penalty corner conversion by Hayward before Govers found the target through a fierce reverse shot.

The fifth and last match of the tour will be played on Friday.

The result:

Australia 4 (Blake Govers 15, 60, Jeremy Hayward 20, 59) bt India 0.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 4:33:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/india-loses-to-australia/article27141056.ece

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