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India lose thriller; Pak down Kiwis

India lose thriller; Pak down Kiwis
Highlights

Ipoh (IANS): India lost 3-4 to Australia in their opening match of the 22nd Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium here Saturday. ...

hockeyIpoh (IANS): India lost 3-4 to Australia in their opening match of the 22nd Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium here Saturday. India made a valiant effort to come back into the game after going 0-3 down but Trent Mitton's 53rd minute strike proved to be the difference between the two teams. Australia started the brighter of the two and earned a penalty corner in the 19th minute but Timothy Deavin'sdrag flick was intercepted Manpreet. Australia attacked with great fervour and created quite a few chances but India's goalkeeper PR Sreejesh kept them at bay with fantastic saves. Sreejesh, though, was finally beaten in the 24th minute as he padded away a Deavin penalty corner attempt only for the lurking Matt Ghodes to hammer the rebound into the roof of the net to give Australia a well deserved lead. India lacked creativity in the first half and created few chances but fortunately still went into the break trailing by just one. The Aussies though got off to a flying start in the second with Glenn Simpson finishing off a penalty corner in the 38th minute to give his team a two goal lead. There was no let-up for the India defence as Matt Ghodes got the third for Australia only a minute later. Rupinderpal Singh reduced the deficit scoring India's first goal in the tournament in the 40th minute. India next play South Korea Sunday.
Pak down Kiwis
Pakistan edged past defending champions New Zealand 4-3 in the opening match of the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey Tournament here on Saturday. Pakistan were helped by three goals from their captain Imran Muhammad who converted penalty corners in the 19th, 28th and 58th minutes. The other goal came from Hazeen Khan Abdul in the 21st minute. For the losers, Russell Kane converted a penalty corner in the 30th minute, Tarrant Blair scored a field goal in the 52nd minute. Besides, a penalty corner conversion came from defender Hayward Andy in the 56th minute. Pakistan coach Akhtar Rafeel said that he was pleased with the result because coming from a cold place in New Zealand where the team was playing some practice games, to suddenly playing in hot conditions was difficult. "It was tough match to beat the defending champions. Captain Imran Muhammad made the difference. It can only get better from now on," he said.A Imran Muhammad said he was happy to play his part in the team's victory. "It was a team effort and this win is surely a morale booster for the tough contest ahead," said Imran.
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