India held to a 4-4 draw in men’s hockey at the Commonwealth Games on Monday.
Lalit Upadhyay, Mandeep, Akashdeep and Harmanpreet Singh were on the scoresheet for India on the day as they started the game strongly.
Harmanpreet’s beautiful crossfield ball opened up the English defense and beat Lalit PC in the second minute. With Harmanpreet’s PC blocked, Lalit gave India the lead. England got their first PC two minutes later but the Indian defense handled it perfectly to preserve their lead.
England picked up the pace as the Indian midfielders were making some poor passes up the court and Sreejesh made a good save in the 12th minute to preserve the lead.
India extended their lead in the 13th minute when Mandeep Singh parried a beautiful move from Neelkanda Sharma. The reverse shot by the Indian forwards was too hot for the England goalkeeper to handle. A five-minute yellow card to Varun Kumar in the second quarter put the defense under pressure, but the forwards continued to step up and have some great chances.
Akashdeep then put India in control to make it 3-0, but the goal was marred by some incredible stickwork from Mandeep. The Indian forward set up his teammate with a brilliant turn at D and delivered a pinpoint assist.
England had a big possession in the third quarter, but the Indian team remained calm. Sreejesh made a good save with five minutes left in Q3 but could not stop England’s PC.
England reduced the deficit in the 12th minute of the third quarter. As Manpreet challenged the goal, it overturned and the goal stopped. Varun then received another yellow and England continued to push for a second goal.
Despite being a man down, India kept probing and Harmanpreet converted an incredible system to restore India’s three-goal cushion in the second minute of the fourth quarter. But the joy was short-lived as England scored another goal a minute later to make it 4-2. England would set up a big finish with a goal in the sixth minute of Q4.
Things went from bad to worse for India as they lost Gurjant Singh for 10 minutes after receiving a yellow card. This is India’s third yellow card.
It was Gurjand’s poor judgment that set up England’s equalizer in the 53rd minute of the game.
Nicholas Bondurak scored a goal for England, while Liam Ansell and Philip Roper scored a goal each.
However, India secured a draw as the fans showed their appreciation for both teams. Graham Reid and his men will be disappointed with the result as they could have easily won this one.
India will face Canada in their next group game on August 3.
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