Leading one-nil at half time, Great Britain Men conceded three second half goals as rivals India pipped them to the bronze medal at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, on Sunday.
Ashley Jackson scored late in the second half to break the deadlock and give Great Britain hope of taking the win. But India proved a tough nut to crack and GB couldn’t stop them scoring three unanswered goals after the break.
Afterwards, Head Coach Jason Lee said: “There are plenty of positives to take out of this week. We need to be sharper and more creative around the opposition circle and that cost us today, but overall I’m happy with what we have learned during the competition.”
The match was a classic game of two halves with India, who had a rest day on Saturday to prepare for the match, getting stronger as the match went on.
It was a tight first half, and Great Britain played well enough, retaining the ball without ever looking really threatening. The majority of the half was spent in the Indian half of the pitch as GB went in search of a way through, while India always looked dangerous on the counter-attack.
Eventually the pressure told, and GB forced their first penalty corner in the last minute of the half, and Ashley Jackson fired high into the net giving Chetri in the Indian goal no chance.
The second half started with India remaining strong, but GB also created chances which went begging as their final touch let them down.
With GB doing a lot of attacking the game had become stretched by that point, and Shivandra Singh scored from open play on 43 minutes.
India forced their second penalty corner on 52 minutes and Sandeep Singh flicked high to James Fair’s left to give India the lead, and from them on GB were chasing the game.
In an attempt to get back level Fair was replaced to bring on an extra field player with two and a half minutes remaining, but a missed aerial was capitalised on by Tushar Khandker who scored into an empty net as GB had committed forward.
“It’s always disappointing to finish just outside the medal places,” said Team Manager Andy Halliday. “We now need to work very hard as a group ahead of the Olympic Games.”
Great Britain Hockey Press Release