Source: News Bharati English28 Nov 2016 13:06:34
Melbourne, November 28: Posting a marvelous victory over the Malaysia, Indian team bagged the Bronze medal after defeating the South-East Asian nation by 4-1 in the ultimate match of the four Nations invitation hockey tournament. After dominating Malaysian throughout the match, Indian team took the deserved victory after scoring twice in the final quarter.
Indians were looking to avoid any opening pressure from the Malaysian side and scored within the first two minutes of the game. Birendra Lakra picked up the ball near centre field and drove his shot diagonally into the circle. The cross evaded everyone, before falling to Akashdeep Singh lurking at the far post. Akashdeep showed great awareness and superb skill to deflect the ball in and give India the lead.
India kept the ball in their court and had several chances to score in the form of four consecutive penalty corners, but had to settle the score at 1-0 till the first break due to powerful defence shown by Malaysian boys.
The opening of second quarter saw a relishing effort by Affan Yousuf, who surpassed three Malaysian defenders to make up 2nd goal but was denied by Malaysian goalkeeper Kumar Subramiam who patted the ball away.
Malaysia picked up the pace of their game in the final minutes of the quarter, but despite several circle penetrations, they failed to create any real chances. The teams went into half time separated by the single goal scored by India.
3rd quarter saw Indians on the backdoor making the counter against the Malaysian attack. But despite several circle penetrations neither team created any real opportunities almost till the end of the 3rd quarter.
In the final minutes, VR Raghunath leaded on a couple of penalties to convert one of them in a goal. Malaysia hit back almost from the restart catching India’s defence unawares; Joel van Huizen’s goal taking them into the final break down by the single goal.
Keeping pressure in the final quarter, Indian constantly pressed high and made several turnover. Akashdeep was at the thick of things, first getting away a smart shot from inside the circle which was carried away by Kumar Subramiam.
Soon after though, he had another superb moment, dribbling away from Malaysia’s defence to cut back a pass to Talwinder Singh, whose first time chip deflection beat the goalkeeper to complete India’s third goal of the game. In the 58th minute Indians had another PC and from the drag flick Rupinder Pal Singh made no mistake in slotting the ball to the bottom right corner to give India a 4-1 advantage.
The victory ended the journey watching India’s amazing performance as it was the ultimate match for India who settled with Bronze medal. India lost to New Zealand by 3-2 earlier and then Australia by 4-1 to lose the chances to the finals. Australia and New Zealand had a cut to cut match were the host Australian bagged the victory by 3-1.