Wed, 08 Feb 2023

Adelaide [Australia], December 4 (ANI): The Indian men's hockey team went down to Australia by 4-5 in the final match of the five-match series at the Mate Stadium in Adelaide on Sunday.

With this, India has lost the five-match series by 1-4. India's solitary win in the series came in the third match.

Tom Wickham (1', 16') opened the account for Australia, scoring first two goals for the hosts. Australian captain Aran Zalewski (29'), Jacob Anderson (39') and Jake Whetton (53') also got their names on the scoresheet. Indian captain Harmanpreet Singh (23', 59'), vice-captain Amit Rohidas (33') and Sukhjeet Singh (54') netted India's goals. Aran Zalewski was declared the Player of the Match, as per Olympics.com.

Australia expressed attacking intent at the start of the match and found the net in the very first minute through Tom Wickham's field goal. India responded well. They earned four penalty corners in the next few minutes but could not convert any of those into goals.

Australia survived a flurry of attacks from India and tried to double their lead. However, PR Sreejesh stood like a rock to not let that happen in the first quarter.

In the start of the second quarter, Wickham scored another goal in the 16th minute, running past three defenders to make it 2-0 in favour of the Aussies.

Harmanpreet brought India back into the game by converting a penalty corner in the 23rd minute.

Five minutes before half-time, a yellow card to Gurjant Singh after a tackle reduced India to 10 men. Australia upped their attack but Krishnan Bahadur, swapping places with Sreejesh in alternate quarters, made some impressive saves.

Australian skipper Aran Zalewski restored his side's two-goal lead in 29th minute with an impressive strike.

But four minutes later, defender Amit Rohidas made full use of pass from Hardik Singh to make it 3-2.

After India's Sukhjeet Singh got another yellow card after a rash tackle, the visitors were down by two men. Daniel Beale's strike in the 39th minute restored Australia's two-goal lead.

India put a solid fight in the final quarter. Whetton struck in the 53rd minute to make the scoreline read 5-2 in favour of Aussies. However, India hit two goals in the 54th and 59th minute. Harmanpreet and Sukhjeet scored to make it 5-4 for the visitors.

The fifth-ranked side gave a good fight against the Aussies in the final match of the series. India lost the first two matches by 3-4 and 7-4 respectively, before winning a crucial third match by 4-3. Australia won the series by clinching a 5-1 win in the fourth match.

The series Down Under is part of India's preparations for the upcoming hockey World Cup, which will take place at their home in January next year. (ANI)

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