India crashed to their second defeat in the men’s hockey World Cup by conceding a late goal yet again to go down 1-2 against England at the Kyocera Stadium here on Monday.
England prevailed through a 69th-minute penalty corner rebound conversion by Simon Mantell. India had an equal run of play against England, and even saw a penalty stroke being cancelled, paving the way for England’s victory.
Ashley Jackson’s penalty corner shot was blocked by goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, but Mantell capitalised on the rebound by sending a diagonal reverse shot into the net to leave the Indian players crestfallen in the dying moments of the game.
India had lost their opening game against Belgium 2-3 after conceding a goal with seconds left for the final hooter. England opened the scoring in the 26th minute through Mark Gleghorne’s penalty corner conversion, and India equalised through Dharamvir Singh in the 30th minute.
After being held to a 1-1 draw in their first game by Spain, England now have four points from two matches. India forced their first penalty corner in the 11th minute, when the ball was carried by a England defender inside the circle. The foul was not noticed by the umpire, but India made a referral and the foul was confirmed. It led to penalty corners being awarded two more times before India wasted the opportunity as the push was not stopped properly and Manpreet’s attempt saw the ball go over the cross-bar.
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An unnecessary obstruction on the 25-yard line by Yuvraj Walmiki gave England their first penalty corner, which was converted by Mark Gleghorne with a rising shot. Indian equalised on a move initiated by captain Sardar, who put Dharamvir in possession on top of the circle and he turned around to send the shot into the net. India’s lapses inside the circle resulted in them conceding two penalty corners on either side of interval, but they did well thereafter to stay on level terms. Indian coach Terry Walsh said it was disappointing to be without any point after two well-played games. “We’ve managed to play some good hockey and yet the reality is that we’re without a point from two matches,” said Walsh.
Australia beat Spain
Holders Australia stayed atop their group by posting their second straight victory, defeating Spain 3-0. Two early goals put the Australians in a commanding position from which the Spaniards could not dislodge them. Spain have just one point from two games after holding England to a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
Timothy Deavin opened the scoring for Australia in the second minute in open play and captain Mark Knowles increased the lead in the 10th minute by deftly flicking in a penalty stroke. Australia rounded off the scoring in the 33rd minute on a penalty corner conversion by Kieran Govers. Australia are at the top of the Group A table with six points.
After being held to a 1-1 draw in their first game by Spain, England now have four points from two matches.