India beats Australia 4-3 in third hockey Test for first win in 13 matchesDecember 1, 2022
India scored a last minute goal to stun world number one Australia 4-3 in the third hockey Test and notch up its first win in 13 matches here on Wednesday.
It was a rare win for India against Australia, which had won 7-0 in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games final earlier this year.
The famous win also kept the five-match series alive, with Australia leading 2-1. India had lost 4-5 and 4-7 in the first two Tests.
The fourth match will be played on Saturday, and the final on Sunday. Skipper Harmanpreet Singh (12th minute), Abhishek (47th), Shamsher Singh (57th) and Akashdeep Singh (60th) scored for India.
Australia’s goals came from the sticks of Jack Welch (25th), skipper Aran Zalewski (32nd) and Nathan Ephraums (59th).
Both the teams started on a patient note, trying to keep their defence intact while looking for counter-attacks.
Australia had the first chance in the seventh minute. It was a scramble in front of the India goal, but Krishan Bahadur Pathak denied the host with some desperate goalkeeping.
India took the lead in the 12th minute from a penalty corner through skipper Harmanpreet, who went for a placement rather than brute power. He placed the ball perfectly to the right of Australia goalkeeper Johan Durst.
Young Sukhjeet Singh was then denied a brilliant goal by the post.
In the 20th minute, veteran India custodian P R Sreejesh denied Australia as he was alert at the near post to keep out a reverse hit.
Minutes later, Sreejesh was again in the thick of things as he made a triple save from a penalty corner before Surender Kumar kept the ball out. Australia drew level in the 25th minute when Welch scored his third goal of the series, glancing in Tim Howard’s searching ball after an alert Sreejesh thwarted Jerry Hayward’s drag-flick from a penalty corner.
The home side continued to press hard after the change of ends, earning back-to-back penalty corners two minutes after the restart. The second attempt was deflected in by skipper Zalewski from Hayward’s indirect try.
India earned an early penalty corner in the fourth and final quarter, and Abhishek found the back of the Australian net, deflecting in Harmanpreet’s flick from close range.
India secured a penalty corner in the 52nd minute but failed to utilise it.
Rajkumar Pal came close to scoring, but his shot from the top of the circle went wide.
India applied pressure on the Australian defence in the final quarter, and managed to secure another penalty corner. Shamser was at the right place at the right time to tap in from close after Jugraj’s initial try was saved by the opposition goalkeeper.
Australia earned a penalty corner soon, but Sreejesh thwarted the attempt.
A minute from the final hooter, Australia secured two consecutive penalty corner but failed to breach the Indian defence.
But the match was far from over as 54 seconds from time, Akashdeep scored after being fed by a selfless Mandeep Singh to hand India a famous win.