Indian men’s Hockey team ended their Australian tour with a 5-2 loss to the hosts in their fifth and final match held at the Perth Hockey Stadium on Friday.
Australia’s Trent Mitton (11’, 24’), Flynn Ogilvie (3’), Blake Govers (28’) and Tim Brand (43’) scored in their victory while Nilakanta Sharma (12’) and Rupinderpal Singh (53’) registered their names on the scoresheet for India.
It was India who had the opening chance in the match, but it was cleared by Eddie Ockenden, before Australia forced Indian Goalkeeper Krishan Pathak to make a brilliant save towards his left side on the counter. The move was followed by Australia’s opening goal as Flynn Ogilvie made the decisive contribution.
In the 8th minute, Mandeep Singh won a Penalty Corner, but the opportunity was wasted as Nilakanta Sharma could not trap the ball properly, and it meant that Australia broke on the counter, only for Rupinderpal Singh to return back and clear the ball away.
Two minutes later, it was Australia’s turn to test India on a PC, but the visitors managed to clear the danger. However, almost immediately India play out a loose ball from the back which was lost by Gurinder Singh, and it was Australia’s Trent Mitton who took advantage of it as he found himself in space on the left flank and fired the ball past Pathak to make it 2-0.
India’s response to the second goal was a good one as Gursahibjit played a pass into the circle from the left flank, for midfielder Nilakanta Sharma to get the last touch and put the ball into the back of the net in the 12th minute.
It was a quiet start to the second quarter by both teams, but it was India who found an opening in the 19th minute as Mandeep Singh’s deflection went over the bar. India maintained possession in the second quarter and had another chance in the 23rd minute when Vivek Sagar Prasad played a quick ball into the circle, only for Mandeep to fail to collect it.
However, in the 24th minute, Trent Mitton found himself in a great position on the right side of the striking circle after Joshua Simmonds picked him out with a fine pass, before turning and firing the ball past PR Sreejesh to make it 3-1 after 24 minutes.
Five minutes later, Gurinder Singh was dubiously fined for a push inside the 16-yard line by the umpire, and the resulting PC was converted by Blake Govers to add a fourth for the home side on the stroke of half-time break.
The third quarter saw Australia maintain possession but were not able to create any opportunities until the 40th minute when Blake Govers ran down the right flank to beat a few defenders only to fire his effort off target. Meanwhile, at the other end, India struggled to stitch passes together.
In the 43rd minute, Armaan Qureshi had a glorious chance to score India’s second goal but Johan Durst made a fine save on his left side, and it was Australia who managed to score on the counter as Tim Brand pushed the ball past Pathak to make it 5-1 with one quarter to play.
India needed to score heavily in the last quarter if they were to make a comeback into the match. The visitors tried to create chances but the Australian defence made sure that they did not give them space in the circle.
India had to wait till the 53rd minute to score their second goal as Rupinderpal Singh converted a PC as he fired the ball past Durst’s left side to make it 5-2. The visitors tried to create a few more chances in the remaining minutes, but could not score again as Australia registered a 5-2 win.