India held after taking lead twice
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.