Indian Men’s Hockey Team faced a jolt in their winning momentum as Australian Hockey Squad defeated the blue tigers by a margin of 4-0 in the first test of two-match series at Perth Hockey Stadium, Australia on Wednesday. The stars of the show were Jeremy Hayward and Blake Govers who scored two goals each to grab the lead for their side in the game.
The match started with both the teams going hard on each other but in the 15th minute the Australians found the net and opened their account with a penalty corner and took the lead. Though after four minutes India’s star midfielder Birendra Lakra tried to level up with hosts as he hit a shot to meet the box but the strike went wide off the post.
In the beginning of second quarter Australian men doubled their lead when Jeremy Hayward’s explosive strike rattled the scoreboard and score became 2-0 in the 20th minute. The third quarter went goal-less for both teams after which in last quarter Indian men pull up their socks and struggled even more harder in search of goal. In 52nd minute of the game it seems like fortunes could turn for men in blue as the star forward Mandeep Singh earned a penalty corner for his side but Flynn Ogilvie was standing in the defence on the other side to prevent Harmanpreet’s drag flick heading into the right top corner.
Graham Reid’s men were seen under immense pressure as the game was heading towards the end so the coach planted eleventh outfield player for the final three minutes to fight back against Australia but their strategy backfired as according to the new rules eleventh outfield played will not have any goalkeeping privileges. This resulted in providing one more penalty corner to Australia and they made most of it as Jeremy Hayward converted the lead to 3-0 in the 60th minute followed by Govers scoring another match-winning strike in the last minute to make it 4-0 at the final whistle.
During the whole test match Indian men kept chasing the chances to take the lead against Australia. It looks like they are still confused with the playing style of new coach Graham Reid. Earlier, this week India leveled up the game with Australia A with 1-1 before defeating Western Australia Thundersticks in the warm-up sessions.