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AZLAN SHAH CUP
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SAS 2017: Australian class in Indian defeat (5/2/2017)
--s2h team
Australia showed both class and patience to establish scoreboard supremacy so as to set aside strong Indian challenge nonchalantly 3-1 on day three of 26th Azlan Shah Cup. Though its India that took the lead through otherwise misfiring Mandeep Singh, Australia came back strongly and with stylish stunners to pump in three goals, to garner full three points to retain top position in the points table.

India with just four points in three matches was pushed to third in the pool table.

India tried everything possible in the last ten minutes or so including deploying an additional player for goalkeeper, but the Australian defence stood to ground yielding nothing, even a token penalty corner.

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After even first half, Australia accelerated pace and rendered Indian defence ineffective with serious of onslaughts. Getting three quick penalty corners, it gained upper hand on the scoreboard when Tom Craig punctured the Indian citadel off the third.

Though the ball was not stopped properly, Mathew Swann was quick to collect and pass to Tom Craig to do the rest (2-1).

Later, getting a freehit, Tom Wickham just did an amazing 3D run into the D, and when reached opposite substitute goalie Akash Tikte, hit hard from centre to centre to enhance the lead to 3-1.

This is a classic, modern hockey goal, to say the least. India that lost its prime goalie Sreejesh when he collided with Eddie Ockenden to stop a deflection, Indian coach did everything in his disposal in the last seven minutes, pulling the goalie off with the introduction of Rupinder Pal as additional player. At this juncture, Australia was already down to ten-men due to yellow card to one of its players.

Yet, despite having two-men advantage, India could not stretch, instead, almost survived conceding another goal. undefined

The second half was in contrast to the first where both teams appeared equal, even India etching out an edge.

Mandeep Singh, who missed a couple of sitters twice, made amends when he tapped in a Harmanpreet's feed to put India ahead in the 25th minute, but less than 40 sec left for the half time, Eddie Ockenden dived to his right to deflect a short rebound from substitute goalie Akash Chikte to even out the score 1-1.

After a barren half in which India missed two penalty corners, and Australia once, both sides used referral cleverly to cancel out each other's PC through neutral umpire ruling, but goals were hard to come by till 25th minute.

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In the first half, its India that created more scoring opportunities but could not make the scoreboard move. Once Mandeep Singh gave a necessary touch to a Sumit's penetrative parting of ball from right backline, only to see the ball hit the far post and ricochets back into play.

Two teams that occupies the top two position of points table lock horns to establish their supremacy in the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh,Malaysia.

India played twice Australia in the last Azlan Shah, losing 1-5 first and then 0-4 in the final.

India will take on Japan tomorrow same time (13.45 IST), which fourth and penultimate match for both teams.

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