India beat Canada 3-1 in Azlan Shah hockey

May 11th, 2008 - 6:21 pm ICT by admin  

Ipoh, Malaysia, May 11 (IANS) The young Indian outfit shed off their clumsy performance to post a comprehensive 3-1 win over Canada in the Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament here Sunday. Drag-flicker Diwakar Ram was the star for India as he scored a brace while Shiverndra Singh struck once. India could have won by a bigger margin had they not wasted as many as eight penalty corners.

After two morale-shattering defeats against New Zealand and Argentina, the Indian team led by Sardara Singh came out all guns blazing to pick their first points in the tournament and lifted themselves up from the bottom of standings.

The Indian team looked jaded at the start of the match and gave the impression that another disappointment is in store. But they fought back after being jolted by an early goal (ninth minute) from Wayne Fernando through a penalty corner.

India breached the Canadian defence with some swift moves through the flanks but failed to make them count. They got three penalty corners in the first half but squandered all of them.

India were hampered by the absence of their only goal scorer in the tournament, drag-flicker Sandeep Singh, who went out in the first half after being hit on the right knee while rushing out of the post during a penalty corner. Canada went into the breather leading 1-0.

India looked a transformed side in the second half. They ran hard and created more opportunities which took the opponents by surprise. Sandeep’s replacement 19-year-old Diwakar brought good fortune to the side as he struck twice in the second half.

India got a penalty stroke after S.V. Sunil’s strike, in their fourth penalty corner, hit a Canadian defender. Diwakar took a clean strike to score the equaliser in the 45th minute.

India raised their game and made several forays in the Canadian defence. They were rewarded with another penalty corner in the 51th minute and Diwakar made no mistake in converting it.

India scored another goal two minutes later. Captain Sardara Singh’s free hit from outside the box was deflected by Sunil and the ball went to Shivendra Singh, positoned in right corner of the post, who just tapped it inside.

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