Indian hockey colts beat Australia in Youth Olympic Festival

January 14th, 2009 - 3:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 14 (IANS) India’s junior men’s hockey team made a promising start in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF), beating the hosts 2-1 in a tense match at Sydney Olympic Park here Wednesday.The Indian women’s team though lost 1-3 to defending champion Great Britain.

The men’s team, which recorded an impressive win in Argentina last month, continued their good performance as Mandeep Antil and skipper Diwakar Ram scored one goal each while Australia pulled back one from Tristan White.

India attacked the Australian defence right from the word go to put pressure on the hosts. Their strong start soon bore fruit as Antil opened the scoring in the 11th minute.

Indian forwards and halves moved seamlessly together and created chances which resulted in a penalty corner in the 25th minute. Drag-flick specialist Ram pounced on the opportunity to increase the lead.

Stung by the goals in front of a home crowd, Australia stepped up their game and had three short corners awarded in the space of six minutes but Indian defence stood solid.

India went into the breather with a 2-0 lead.

Australia’s attempts to break the Indian defence met a stiff resistance at the start of the second half.

The hosts finally managed to score one in the 66th minute through White off a short corner.

India shifted gears and went on a attacking mode with the forward line showing amazing speed and cohesion.

A short corner for India in the final minutes of the match proved unsuccessful, but their defence did well to prevent Australia from equalising.

In the women’s section, India opened the scoring through a penalty corner conversion from Vadanan Katariya in the 14th minute.

Great Britain regrouped after trailing at half time to score three second half goals, two by striker Dilly Newton (41 mins (PC) and 60 mins). G.B Fray thumped another goal through a penalty corner in 70th minute.

In other hockey results, the Australian women blanked the US 4-0 while Great Britain sneaked a last minute goal to hold Malaysia 4-4 in the men’s section.

The Indian men’s team will now take on Great Britain while the women’s team play hosts Australia Thursday.

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