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Men's Hockey Pro League

FIH Pro League 2023-24: Indian men's hockey team face defeat against hosts Great Britain

Published at :June 2, 2024 at 8:54 PM
Modified at :June 2, 2024 at 8:54 PM
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(Courtesy : Hockey India)

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The loss also dented India’s hopes of finishing in the top three in the league.

Hosts Great Britain came up with high-voltage performance backed by pacy attack that helped them snatch a 3-1 victory against Indian men’s hockey team on Sunday in the ongoing Men’s FIH Pro League 2023-24 at the Lee Valley Hockey Stadium in London. Early goals by Nicholas Bandurak (2′, 11′) and Will Calnan (47′) helped the home side register an important win while Abhishek (35′) scored the lone goal for India.  

Backed by a boisterous home crowd, Great Britain were quick to put India on the backfoot. It was a fine counterattack that set-up Bandurak’s goal in the second minute, making India scurry to recover. Both teams used every opportunity to attack in the following minutes but to add to India’s woes, Bandurak scored again in the 11th minute.

Only minutes earlier, India had won their first PC but couldn’t make much of the chance with Harmanpreet’s dragflick missing the target. 

Going into the second quarter with a 0-2 deficit, India’s search for an opening goal continued. The team showed intent by controlling the possession while Hardik Singh and Mandeep made late charge in the circle, Abhishek too stood out in the forwardline but neither could come up with a successful pursuit on goal. 

Coming into the third quarter after a 10-minute half time break, India looked for ways to halt Great Britain’s high-intensity game. Minutes into the third quarter, Hardik launched a counter-attack to make a circle entry but no real chance came from it. In the following minute, Abhishek finally brought some respite to the Indian side with a brilliant reverse-hit goal in the 35th minute.

He did well with good stick work to receive the long pass from the midfield and make the target. Carrying on the momentum, Abhishek helped India win a PC in the next minute. But Harmanpreet’s shot missed the target. 

The following minutes saw India control the game while Sreejesh kept the goal deficit narrow with some fine saves. The final moments of an intense third quarter saw both teams trading PCs but neither could score. 

However, Great Britain came up with a brilliant finish as they extended the lead in the 47th minute via Calnan. Though India challenged the goal through a video referral, the third umpire ruled against India’s appeal. There were a couple of PCs awarded to India but none were successful, ending the game with 1-3 loss. 

The Indian men’s hockey team will next take on Germany in their next match at 2145 hrs IST on 8th June.

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