Ipoh, Malaysia 7 April 2016: In their second game of the tournament in Malaysia, Australia outclassed India by 5-1 in 25th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2016, while New Zealand were held by Canada for 1-1 draw. The hosts Malaysia edged past Japan by 4-3 to top the table.
Australia started off strongly in the first quarter, hitting India’s defense with speed and earned their first penalty corner in the 5th minute. Blake Govers scored from the PC with a sharp shot to make the score 1-0. India hit back with their own goal through a penalty corner, as Rupinder Pal Singh scored three minutes later to draw level. In the immediate aftermath of the drag flick though, Rupinder took a body blow from the rushing defender and was substituted for a good period of the next quarter.
Australia scored a second with two minutes left in the quarter to go into the break with a 2-1 lead.
The second quarter saw Australia dominate possession and force India into mistakes, forcing them to concede two more field goals and trail 4-1 at half time.
Post the interval, India made a strong start to the second half and were constantly using the wings, hoping to break into the Australian circle and trouble the goal. Australia’s defense though kept them at bay throughout. A sharp shot by Sunil saved by the Australian goalkeeper was India’s best attempt of the quarter.
In the final quarter, pouring forward in numbers, India hoped to reduce the deficit but were met by a resolute Australia, who did not give them an inch of space in the circle. On the counter, the Australians added one more to their tally right at the end of the match to end 5-1 winners.
Australia’ head Coach Graham Reid said: “The 5 – 1 score tonight was very flattering; but we didn’t create as many opportunities as we might normally. It was a really good, tough match which is why we are here, and we’ll take away some good learnings from the game today. Playing with smaller numbers than usual was a real challenge in the heat and was a really good test for us.”
India next play Canada at 18:05 pm IST on 10th April, 2016.
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