India held after tak­ing lead twice

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - WORLD - Press Trust of India

India squan­dered the lead twice as Great Bri­tain ral­lied to earn a 2-2 draw in the rain-de­layed open­ing match at the 26th Sul­tan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tour­na­ment here.

Akashdeep Singh (19th minute) and Man­deep Singh (48th minute) scored field goals to give India the lead two times in the match but only to see the Brits hit back through Tom Car­son (25th) and Alan Forsyth (52nd).

India sur­vived a last-minute penalty cor­ner that was awarded against them for an ob­struc­tion out­side the cir­cle.

The penalty cor­ner was con­firmed after the video re­fer­ral by India, but Bri­tish cap­tain Phil Roper sent his drag flick wide to the right.

In the last en­counter between these two teams, India won 2-1 in the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy in Lon­don last year.

The match started two hours be­hind sched­ule after the teams, who were warm­ing up, had to scurry off the turf when light­en­ing and heavy show­ers ar­rived in the af­ter­noon.

Man­preet Singh, cap­tain for this match, picked up the ball on the 25-me­tre line and sent a firm drive into the cir­cle. Though his shot was padded by the Bri­tish goal­keeper, the re­bound went straight to Akashdeep, who cap­i­talised on the chance by beat­ing the cus­to­dian with his flick.

Great Bri­tain were not to be de­nied the equaliser in the 25th minute when a fine foray by Ol­lie Wil­lars split open the In­dian de­fence be­fore he sent a pass to Carlson, who made the most of his fine po­si­tion­ing to score.

India re­claimed the lead in the 48th minute when Su­nil re­layed a nar­row-an­gle pass from Man preet on the left flank for Man deep Singh, who de­flected the ball past goal­keeper Gib­son.

India’s lead was short-lived as the de­ter­mined Bri­tish made the most of their 52nd minute at­tack even in a crowded cir­cle.

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