CWG: India men’s hockey team beats England, tops Pool B
Gold Coast: The Indian men’s hockey team scored two goals in the final three minutes to overcome England 4-3 in a thrilling match to top Pool B and enter the semi-finals of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Wednesday.
Manpreet Singh (32nd), Rupinder Pal Singh (51st), Varun Kumar (58th) and Mandeep Singh (59th) scored for India while England got their goals from David Condon (17th minute), Liam Ansell (52nd) and Sam Ward (56th).
Following the win in their final Pool B game, India have 10 points — three more than second-placed England.
It was tussle to the top spot in Pool B and the two teams lived up to the billing with entertaining hockey, pushing each other hooter-to-hooter.
Though India were quick to attack with Gurjant and Lalit Upadhyay taking shots on goal in quick succession only three minutes into the first quarter, England upped the ante soon after with Mark Gleghorne creating a goal scoring opportunity as he helped win the first penalty corner for England.
However, Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh was stunning in his effort to pad-away Gleghorne’s fiercely-struck flick.
England though dominated the proceedings in the first and second quarter with disciplined structure, keeping the ball for longer spells, and came up with good man-to-man marking that kept the Indian forwards in the hunt to create space.
England struck first in the 16th minute when Mark Gleghorne opened-up the counter attack racing into the right flank, a strong cross to Adam Dixon saw him assist goal-scorer David Condon who came up with a brilliant backhand shot to convert and give England a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute.
An Indian infringement in the following minute saw England win their second penalty corner of the match, but Sreejesh was unrelenting yet again, stopping and clearing Gleghorne’s flick.
India’s wait for an equalizer finally ended in the 33rd minute when skipper Manpreet Singh struck from the top of the circle after a good assist from Mandeep Singh, who couldn’t take a shot on goal himself with two English defenders tackling him.
India take on New Zealand on Friday.