It was a stellar show by the Indian men’s hockey team as they handed the Australians a crushing 3-1 defeat in the final game of the 4-match test series. With this result, India also won the series by a convincing 3-1 margin.
This Sardara Singh led team has shown great character throughout the series. A complete team effort and a bit of individual brilliance saw India register an emphatic series win. This match was also a historical milestone for Indian captain Sardara Singh as he was representing India for the 200th time.
First Quarter- Akashdeep scores early to give India lead
Like the earlier games, this one too was a pacy contest as both the teams looked to score and put pressure on the opposition. In the 13th minute, SV Sunil was tackled hard by an Aussie defender leading to the referee pointing to the short corner. This resultant penalty corner saw VR Raghunath unleash his drag flick which was blocked by Clemmons, the Australian keeper. Akashdeep Singh collected the deflection from the goalkeeper and netted the ball into the corner of the goal to give the visitors an early lead. Akashdeep continues to show the right opportunism and is a good find for India.
Second And Third Quarter- Australia Fight Back And Equalize
In the second quarter, Australia were awarded two penalty corners in quick succession but were denied by the Indian defence led by keeper PR Sreejesh. The Australian onslaught went on in the 3rd quarter as well and eventually Tommy Craig scored the equalizer through a penalty corner. In the closing stages of the third quarter, Gurbaj Singh was also shown the yellow card and it looked like the Aussies would find a way to level this series.
Indian Men’s Hockey Team Take Down Australia In Final Quarter
As the fourth quarter progressed, India moved on with more focus and created some more chances. Akashdeep Singh struck once again at a crucial time to regain the lead. Soon after, Gurbaj Singh snatched the ball from the Australian forwards and fielded a nice ball for SK Uthappa who notched up another goal for India. The final whistle was blown and the Indian camp rejoiced as they knew the importance of this series win.
Defeating the world champions in their own den is indeed a commendable achievement. The series win will also serve as a huge motivation for the Indian men’s hockey team as they will look to continue their good form at the upcoming Champions trophy in December.
Match Summary: India 3 (Akashdeep Singh 13′ 50′, SK Uthappa 53′) bt Australia 1 (Tommy Craig 36′)