Indian hockey

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup: Ireland register stunning come-from-behind win to end India’s final hopes

The Irish scored two goals in the second half to win 3-2.

Ireland dashed India’s hopes of finishing in the top-two in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup with a 3-2 win on Friday.

The Indians could have made it to the final had India earned three points from the game and the final group game between England and Malaysia ended in a draw.

India took the lead twice in the game through Ramandeep Singh and Amit Rohidas’s strikes but every time they trailed, the Irish struck back and grabbed the winner just minutes before the third quarter ended.

India were off to a solid start to the game, pressing the Irish defenders in numbers and forcing them into making mistakes. From a penalty corner, Ramandeep put his side in the lead, flicking it into the net with a deflection immediately after injection. The Irish, though, slowly gained a foothold in the game. In the last minute of the first quarter, O’Donoghue tested Suraj Karkera with a neat cut-in and flick.

Sjoerd Marijne’s side steadied themselves before the break and went into the lead through a cracking PC. Rohidas whipped his shot high and out of the reach of keeper Jamie Carr.

Undeterred by going behind for the second time, Ireland came out taking the attack to their opponents. O’Donoghue was at the heart of every move of his side. India’s defence retracted and sloppy work from a right-wing cross allowed the ball to roll past three defenders, allowing Sean Murray to take a simple deflection to level scores.

Despite impressing with statistics – 56 percent possession and 15 circle entries – there were very few real chances created in the second half by India. Ireland on the other hand, stormed into the lead through a magnificent one-handed reverse-flick from Lee Cole.

Varun Kumar had the best chance for India at the end after latching on to a pass from Sardar Singh, but dragged his shot wide.

Ireland, who were the whipping boys of the tournament, held on to bring up a famous win.

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