Madrid: Indian overpowered Austria 4-2 in their 5-8 classification game at the 8-Nations U-21 hockey Invitational tournament here on Satuday.
India were keen to kick the game off positively and finish the tournament on a high note. On the attack for a majority of the period their efforts paid dividends right at the end of the first quarter as India won their first penalty corner of the game. Sanjay converted from the ensuing drag-flick to give India the lead right at the death as the teams went into the break.
India’s aggressive, attacking play had been a feature even in the games prior to this encounter, and despite conceding goals at the back, the attack had found goals with regularity. That statistic proved useful even in this match. Sanjay scored his second goal of the game off another PC in the 23rd minute, as India put some distance between themselves and their opponents. At half time India led 2-0.
Austria came out reinvigorated in the third quarter, and immediately wrested control. Oliver Kern scored their first goal in the 34th minute, cutting India’s lead to one. Within the minute though, the cushion was restored, Rahul Rajbhar scoring to make it 3-1. The quarter was a topsy turvy affair, the momentum shifting both ways with regularity. The teams went into the break, with the score at 3-1.
In almost a replay of the previous quarter, Austria again came out of the blocks quicker, and in the 49th minute, Phillip Schippan score and drew them to within one goal of India again. Again though, India responded when required, Prabhjot Singh scoring in the 51st minute, to restore the two goal lead. That goal killed Austria’s spirits, and India put in a controlled performance to take the victory.