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India suffer 2-3 defeat to Britain

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London, June 9: Veteran goalkeeper PR Sreejesh pulled off a stunning save from penalty spot but that was not enough as India, who conceded just 38 seconds into the match, lost 2-3 to Great Britain in the men’s FIH Pro League hockey match here on Sunday.
The result meant the Craig Fulton-coached Indian team ended its campaign with a loss to the hosts.
The Indian side was stung by a Phil Roper strike right at the start of the game but regained its composure and came close to scoring on a couple of occasions only to be thwarted by the Great Britain defence in the first quarter.
However, the visitors found the equaliser through Sukhjeet Singh’s (19’) excellent strike four minute into the second quarter.
Displaying hockey of the highest quality, Sukhjeet dived in to deflect the ball into an empty net after getting Gurjant Singh involved down the left.
If the home team looked better in the first quarter, the Indians controlled the game in the second quarter as the two teams went into half time with the score locked at 1-1, which was a fair reflection of the contest.
Britain were awarded a penalty stroke after Sanjay was adjudged to have deliberately infringed on attacker Nick Bandurak’s space as he received the aerial ball.
It looked like a harsh call, but India didn’t review it.
Standing on goal, Sreejesh then came up with one of the finest saves to deny the hosts and keep India in the contest.
As Wallace unleashed a powerful stroke, an agile Sreejesh moved to the right at breakneck speed to prevent the Englishman from scoring.
This was after Sreejesh had made a spectacular save at the beginning of the match after India had already conceded.
Having got a penalty stroke, India skipper Harmanpreet Singh led by example as he made no mistake and firmly slotted the ball past the Engish goalkeeper, sending him the other way to put the visitors ahead in the 36th minute.
Jack Waller restored parity almost immediately as he produced a fine goal after an aerial ball was received by Nurse on the right. Roper laid it off for Waller inside the circle and he smashed that past substitute goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak who had no chance to save that.
Meanwhile, Mandeep Singh missed an easy chance after an excellent aerial ball from Hardik down the left flank to Sukhjeet, who played the ball forward. Mandeep just had to deflect into an open goal, but he failed.
That miss by Mandeep hurt the team as Alan Forsyth scored what proved to be the winner for Britain in the 50th minute.
Indian women’s team lose 2-3 as well
The Indian women’s hockey team went down fighting 2-3 to Great Britain in their FIH Pro League match here on Sunday, extending their run of losses to eight matches.
India thus ended their Pro League season with a heartbreaking defeat to the home team, having played well for the majority of the match before Grace Baldson’s (56’ and 58’) quick-fire brace snatched victory for Great Britain.
Two calls went against go against India, including a video review leaving coach Harendra Singh frustrated.
With the score reading 2-2 and the final hooter approaching, Badlson struck the winner – a powerful drag flick hitting the bottom corner.
Badlson thus broke Indian hearts once again three years after scoring the winner at the Tokyo Olympics that gave Great Britain the bronze medal. Her strikes also prevented India from winning their first match under Harendra. (PTI)

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