India began their Hockey World League Finals campaign with a 1-1 draw against Australia in Bhubaneshwar on Friday. In a thrilling match, India began on a positive note and never stop ending in the match to hold Australia to a 1-1 draw and pick a point from the match.
After an exciting one first quarter which ended goalless, India increased their pace and though Australia were able to intercept their attacks, they could not stop India from creating more spaces. It all turned out well for India in the 20th minute when captain Manpreet Singh gave a cross-court pass from right which was stopped by Birender Lakra. He passed it to Mandeep Singh inside the circle. Australia goalkeeper came out and tried to defend but Mandeep, tumbling, moved ahead and completed a reverse push to find the back of the net. India took the lead in the 20th minute.
But India’s happiness was short lived as Australia equalised in the next minute through a penalty corner. Jeremy Hayward hit a powerful drag to covert the penalty corner and make it 1-1. Both teams went to half-time with the same score line.
India got penalty corners but failed to convert as Rupinder Pal Singh majorly found the keeper. Same story was with Australia who got the PCs but apart from converting one, they could not covert five others. India got four PCs.
Both teams got number of chances after the half-time as well but solid defending from both sides made sure there were no more goals. India got a chance in the final moment as well but failed to convert it.