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Azlan Shah: Misfiring India post first win

Azlan Shah: Misfiring India post first win
Already out of the summit clash, a misfiring India had to toil hard to get the better of a lowly Canada 5-3 and register their first win in the ongoing 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament, on Thursday.

Rupinder Pal Singh (13th minute) and V R Raghunath (32nd) scored through penalty corners before Ramandeep Singh (46th, 47th) scored two field goals, while Satbir Singh (49th) rounded off the tally with another field strike. For Canada, who are ranked 15th in the world as compared to India’s ninth spot, Oliver Scholfield (43rd), Jagdish Gill (49th) and David Jameson (52nd) were the goal scorers.
Even though India had the better share of possession and ball control, they were far from impressive.For the fourth straight match, the Indians were guilty of missing numerous chances and their fragile backline as usual conceded soft goals.

Soon after the start, India mounted continuous raids into the Canada citadel and in the process earned three quick penalty corners, the last of which was converted by Rupinder in the 13th minute. Two minutes after halftime, India doubled their lead when Raghunath neatly converted his side’s fifth short corner. The scoreline should have been much bigger for India had they not wasted the penalty corners that came their way. In the third quarter, India earned three more penalty corners but wasted all the opportunities. It was a goalfest for the spectators in the fourth and final quarter as Ramandeep, who was off colour till Thursday’s match, scored two goals in the span of two minutes to make the scoreline 4-1 in favour of India.

Meanwhile, world champion Australia’s title defence continued in the right earnest as they defeated Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand 3-1 while Korea beat hosts Malaysia 3-2 to stay in the hunt. Australia scored through Dylan Wotherspoon (17th minute), Jamie Dwyer (24th minute) and Jeremy Hayward (28th) to maintain their clean slate and become the first team to secure a place in Sunday’s final.

PTI

PTI

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