Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: India suffered their second successive defeat as they lost to host Australia 2-5 in their fifth and final match of the tour at the Perth Hockey Stadium on Friday.
India had lost to Australia 0-4 in their previous fixture.
For Australia’s Trent Mitton(11’, 24’), Flynn Ogilvie (3’), Blake Govers (28’) and Tim Brand (43’) were the goal scorers . While Nilakanta Sharma (12’) and Rupinderpal Singh (53’) reduced the margin for the visitors.
India had the opening chance in the match, but it was saved by Eddie Ockenden, while on the counter Australian efforts were foiled by goalkeeper Krishan Pathak
Australia took the lead in the 3rd minute as Flynn Ogilvie managed to deflect the ball home Five minutes later Indians earned a penalty corner , but the resulting execution was wasted as Nilakanta Sharma could not trap the ball properly.
The hosts launched a blistering counter attack but Rupinderpal frustrated the move. Australia earned their first Penalty Corner in the 10th minute, but the shot was blocked by the onrushing defenders.
However, a minute later Australians took advantage of defensive lapse and Trent Mitton found himself in space on the left flank and fired the ball past Pathak to make it 2-0.
Indians were quick to respond as Gursahibjit played a pass into the circle from the left flank, and midfielder Nilakanta Sharma managed deflected the ball into the cave (1-2) in 12th minute.
The Indian had a chance to equalize in the 19th minute which was muffed as Mandeep Singh’s deflection went over the bar. The visitors maintained possession in the second quarter and had another chance in the 23rd minute when Vivek Sagar Prasad played a quick ball into the circle, but Mandeep could not collect it.
In the ensuing counter Trent Mitton found himself in a position on the right side of the striking circle as Joshua Simmonds relayed a measured pass to him, and Mitton sent the ball past PR Sreejesh into the back of the net to make it 3-1 after 24 minutes.
In the 29th minute, Gurinder Singh was y fined for a push inside the 16-yard line by the umpire, and the resulting Penalty Corner saw Blake Govers fire a shot past PR Sreejesh’s left side into the back of the net to make it 4-1 at the half-time break.
The third quarter saw Australia maintain possession but were not able to create any opportunities in the opening few minutes. The 40th minute saw Blake Govers run down the right flank beating a few defenders but could not keep his shot on target, while on the other end India struggled to stitch passes together.
In the 43rd minute, Armaan Qureshi had a glorious chance to score India’s second goal but Johan Durst made a fine save on his left side, and it was Australia who managed to score on the counter as Tim Brand pushed the ball past Pathak to make it 5-1 with one quarter to play.
In the last quarter the visitors tried to create chances but the Australian defence made sure that they did not give them space in the circle. It was only in the 53rd minute that India managed to score their second goal as Rupinderpal Singh converted a Penalty Corner to make it 2-5