India beat Australia in Sultan Azlan Shah hockey

May 10th, 2010 - 10:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Ipoh, (Malaysia), May 10 (IANS) Defending champions India thwarted an Australian fightback to score a 4-3 victory in a league match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament here Monday.
World Champions Australia are fielding an experimental side in the tournament, but they came back with vengeance in the second half.

Tushar Khandekar (19th and 32nd minute) and captain Rajpal Singh (21st) put India 3-0 up at the half-time before Australia pumped two goals through Trent Milton (38th) and Christopher Ciriello (40th).

Shivendra Singh (61st) increased the lead for India and Australia mounted pressure on the Indian defence, but it was too late when Mark Paterson’s (70th) found the goal.

India are now at the top of the pool with 10 points from four matches.

India played a brilliant first half controlling the pace of the game and were sharp with their counter-attacks.

Khandekar scored the first goal off a rebound from the left side of the circle. Two minutes later India added to the tally when Rajpal, latching onto a pass from Arjun Halappa, scored from the center of the circle.

Khandekar scored his second goal as he pounced on a Mandeep Antil cross and sent the ball in.

Australia fought back in the second half with two goals before Khandekar and Shivendra combined to increase the lead.

Australia intensified their attacks but Indian defence stood solid. The Kangaroos got a consolation goal in the dying minutes of the game.

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