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Indian hockey eves lose 1-2 to Australia

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  4 Jun 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Darwin, June 3: Promising midfielder Lilima Minz's efforts went in vain as a late surge from Australia resulted in India going down 1-2 to the hosts in the Four-tion Hockey Tourment here on Friday.

Having lost 1-4 to New Zealand and then playing a 1-1 draw against Japan, World No.13 India made a brilliant comeback in the third game with great defensive display.

The hockeyroos started on a high with Grace Stewart opening the scoring in the ninth minute itself.

However, hungry for a positive result in this encounter, the Indian team had other ideas which soon became evident from their exhilarating on-field display.

India's hard work paid dividends as Lilima equalised in the 12th minute to make it all square going into the first timeout. India pressed home the advantage, and had a great opportunity in the fil seconds, but Australia’s goalkeeper Rachael Lynch saved smartly to deny India the lead going into the break.

In the second quarter, the teams fought out an even battle, although Australia took more chances at goal. Their first pelty corner shot into the bottom left corner was parried away smartly by Savita Punia, before Sunita Lakra cleared the stray ball away cleanly.

Defending spectacularly, in numbers and efficiency, India frustrated Australia throughout the quarter. And then in the closing stages, leading to half time, they started pressing harder, forcing the hosts into mistakes. The two teams went into half time evenly matched with a goal apiece.

After the break, Australia came out strongly and controlled a large part of the third quarter, constantly pressing and testing the Indian defences, which rose up to the task brilliantly.

The Indians kept thwarting the Australian strike force away and ensured the hosts didn’t mage too many shots on target. In the dying minutes, Australia, had two pelty corners pushed away by Savita, but with three minutes to go for the fil whistle Emily Smith filly maged to break the Indian defence to go 2-1 up. Thereafter, India failed to find the equaliser, losing 1-2.

India will take on Japan in the bronze medal match on Saturday. IANS

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