A late goal by dragflicker Harmanpreet Singh helped the Indian men’s hockey team salvage a 1-1 draw against Australia ‘A’ on Monday.

India made two good saves in the initial minutes of the first quarter while defending back-to-back penalty corners. The attempts somewhat made up for an average start by the visitors with the Australia ‘A’ attack putting the team under pressure right from the start.

India suffered a setback in the 21st minute when Kiran Arunasalam struck a fine field goal for Australia ‘A’.

India’s inability to convert chances created in the striking circle and missing out on three PCs dented their fightback. Their defence, on the other hand, was able to contain the home team from extending their lead.

It was in Harmanpreet’s second attempt, in the 56th minute, that saw him convert a well-timed, powerful dragflick to equalise.

“We had a poor start in the first ten minutes of the game which was a complete opposite to how we played on Friday. We slowly got back into the game in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters and also created enough opportunities to win the game,” Indian chief coach, Graham Reid said.

“On Wednesday we will need to start much better and play well in all four quarters. In tomorrow’s practice session we will be working on our connections especially in the midfield,” he added.

India will next take on the Australian national side and if the visitors are to emerge on top, Reid said the team will need to start much better and keep the pressure on their opponents in all four quarters.