FIH Pro League: Indian men lose to Australia in shootout after 2-2 draw

Rourkela, Feb 24 (IANS): The Indian men's hockey team failed to capitalise on a goal advantage twice, were held to a 2-2 draw before going down to Australia 3-0 via shootout in a key clash in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023-24 at the Birsa Munda Stadium here on Saturday.

Harmanpreet Singh (20th minute) and Amit Rohidas (25th minute) converted two penalty corners while Blake Govers (23rd minute) pulled one back by converting a penalty stroke, Tom Craig struck the equaliser in the 53rd minute to draw the match 2-2 in regulation time. Australia could have won the match in regulation time but failed to convert a penalty stroke in the fourth quarter.

The shootout was a different matter altogether as Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Sukhjeet Singh and Akashdeep Singh all missed their efforts while the Kookaburras scored through Tom Wickham, Flynn Ogilvie and Tim Brand to win the bonus point.

India eventually lost the match 2-2, 0-3 in the second match of the day in the Pro League. Earlier, in the first match of the day, Spain thrashed Ireland 7-0 with Alvaro Iglesias contributing a brace of goals.

It was a match of two halves with India holding the upper hand in the first session and Australia dominating the second. The hosts bagged four penalty corners -- one in the first quarter. Australia bagged four penalty corners in the second session -- three of them in the third quarter. They also earned a penalty stroke which too went abegging.

The match earned India one point and were placed fourth with 12 points from seven matches while Australia were in second position with 20 points from six wins.

India will take on Ireland in the last match of this cluster at Rourkela while Australia take on table-toppers the Netherlands in the first match of the day.



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Title: FIH Pro League: Indian men lose to Australia in shootout after 2-2 draw

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