Perth, May 10: The Indian men’s hockey team thrashed Australia ‘A’ 3-0 in their on-going Australia tour here on Friday.
Senior drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh scored the first goal of the match in 6th minute, while young striker Sumit Kumar Junior (12′, 13′) hit the Australia's team goal post twice. Manpreet Singh-led India showed their aggression throughout the match. The visitors dominated the first quarter with ball possession and constantly looked to break into the striking circle. The tactic worked as three goals were scored in the very first quarter putting the home team on the back-foot.
Match's first goal came in the 6th minute when the team won their first penalty corner (PC) of the match. Experienced drag-flicker Rupinder who is making a comeback after nearly eight-months of layoff due to injury showed good nick. He timed the flick well with good power and speed to send it past the Australia ‘A’ goalkeeper.
Defender Harmanpreet Singh helped India to score their second goal as his skillful tackling saw Australia ‘A’ lose ball possession which led to India’s second goal. It was a fine assist by Skipper Singh to Sumit Kumar who converted a superb field goal in the 12th minute. The visitors wreaked havoc in the first quarter, leaving the home side stunned.India converted their third goal in the 13th minute when striker Akashdeep Singh set-up the goal scored by Sumit.
India, who dominated the opposition in the first 15-minutes, displayed their defecive skills, keeping the home side's attackers at bay.Harmanpreet Singh remained the cynosure of Indian defence as he dispossession Australian ball-carrier on several occasions that broke their rhythm.
The Aussie team had the lone goal-scoring opportunity in the second quarter when they created a PC but India goalkeeper Krishan Pathak denied them the goal. The following two quarter saw India defended their score-line with solid defence that ensured they secured a second successive win on the tour.
Indian men’s team Chief Coach Graham Reid expressed his satisfaction over the team performance. "It was a very good first quarter with the basics right. We needed that first game (against Western Australia Thundersticks) to get used to the pitch. After a 3-0 lead, it was important we stayed focused on the process," he said."The second and third quarter was tighter. I was happy with the things we have been working on, we created a lot of opportunities and I believe we can still do better in our finishing," the coach added.
In their first assignment under new coach Reid, this is India’s second straight win in Australia. Now, India will play their next game on May 13. The Australia had seven national team players. (UNI)