Indian hockey team suffered their first defeat on their Australia-New Zealand tour when they went down 3-5 against Australian Development squad at the State Hockey Centre in Brisbane on Tuesday night.
India,who trailed 1-3 at half time,scored through skipper Sandeep Singh (16th minute),V Raghunath (37th) and Tushar Khandker (64th) in the rain-marred match.
The Aussies scored through Jason Wilson (10th),Nick Budgeon (22nd min),Joel Carrol (27th),Liam de Young (52nd) and Mark Patterson (66th).
India had registered comprehensive victories against Queensland-New South Wales combine in the first two matches. The third match of the tour had a delayed start due to rain and was played under constant drizzle.
Australia went up in the 10th minute when Jonathon Charlesworth intercepted a loose pass from Indian midfielder Prabodh Tirkey to set up striker Jason Wilson,who shot past goalkeeper Baljit Singh.
India levelled the score six minutes later when Ignace Tirkey stole the ball from the rival skipper Liam de Young and sent a relay pass to Tushar Khandker through armyman SV Sunil.
Khandker’s shot at goal was stopped by a back-stick and the resultant penalty stroke was converted by Sandeep Singh.
Australia went ahead again after getting a penalty corner because of an erroneous clearance by Vikram Pillay. Budgeon flicked low to Baljit’s right.
India muffed two opportunities to equalise shortly after when Sunil and Shivendra Singh fumbled inside the circle and then Khandker shot wide.
Australia consolidated their lead in the 27th minute after conceding a soft penalty corner to Brent Livermore. Defender Joel Carrol made no mistake from the set piece. A heavy downpour at the break again delayed the second half start,but India began aggressively and reduced the margin from a penalty corner as Raghunath flicked past George Bazeley in the 37th minute.
However Australia were again back with the two goal cushion when the overlapping de Young found the mark in the 52nd minute.
Tushar Khandker raised the Indian hopes when he was on target in the 64th minute to narrow the gap. However the hosts soon shattered this thought with Mark Patterson providing the finishing touch two minutes later to give Australia a 5-3 victory.
India will play their last match on the Australian leg against the same team,coached by Ric Charlesworth.