India defeated Great Britain 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out to earn a bonus point after both sides were tied 4-4 at the end of regulation time in a high-scoring second leg FIH Pro League match here on Saturday. Skipper Harmanpreet Singh (7th minute), Mandeep Singh (19th), Sukhjeet Singh (28th) and Abhishek (50th) were the goalscorers for India. Sam Ward (8th, 40th, 47th, 53rd) was the star for the home side scoring all four goals. The win secured a bonus point for India, but they are still second in the standings to Great Britain with 24 points from 12 games.
Great Britain is in the lead with 26 points from 11 games.
India had previously lost 4-2 to Great Britain in the first leg here before beating Belgium 5-1.
India will then travel to Eindhoven, Netherlands to play the hosts in the European leg of their FIH Pro League campaign on June 7.
Great Britain started attacking and had the first shot on target through Phil Roper in the third minute, but it was saved by Indian goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak.
It was a brilliant set-up by Rupert Shipperley to get Roper into a one-on-one position for the shot, but Pathak showed great reflexes.
Three minutes later, Great Britain secured back-to-back penalty corners, but again Pathak came to India’s aid and saved them both.
Mandeep then earned a penalty corner for India a minute later and skipper Harmanpreet’s low drag flick sounded the post past British goalkeeper David Ames to give the visitors the lead.
India’s joy was short lived as Ward converted a penalty corner in the next minute to level the scores.
Just on the stroke of the first quarter, Great Britain secured another short corner, but Nicholas Bandurak’s drag move was deemed dangerous as India survived with both teams at 1–1 after the first 15 minutes.
Both teams continued to play at a furious pace in the second quarter, but it was India who took the lead again through Mandeep, who hammered the ball into the goal with a brilliant pass from Hardik’s Singh.
It was end-to-end action from both teams, but it was Great Britain who earned another goal-scoring opportunity just three minutes after the break in the form of consecutive penalty corners, but again Pathak proved to be the savior for India.
Two minutes before the break, Sukhjeet made it 3-1 in India’s favor with a tomahawk after being fed by Hardik as the visitors went into the breather with two goals.
Both teams failed to create a clear chance after the change of halves until the 40th minute when India conceded another penalty corner and Ward scored with a powerful tap to narrow the margin.
India conceded too many penalty corners, four to be exact in the last three minutes of the second quarter, but Britain failed to capitalize on the opportunities.
Just after the start of the last quarter, it was India that secured a set piece, but this time Harmanpreet’s attempt was blocked by Shipperley.
An unmarked Ward equalized for Great Britain in the 47th minute with a field effort.
Great Britain dominated possession in the final quarter, but it was India who restored the lead in the 50th minute through an Abhishek field goal from a counter-attack.
It was the Ward show on Saturday as he leveled Britain again with a field goal, his fourth of the evening.
Both Great Britain and India got some penalty corners in the last minutes of the game, but faltered in execution.
In the shoot-out, Manpreet Singh, Harmanpreet, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Abhishek scored for India.
Britain’s only goal from five attempts was scored by Will Calnan, as Zachary Wallace, Shipperley and Roper missed in the one-on-one situation.
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