The Indian junior men’s hockey team scored a last-minute goal to play out a thrilling 5-5 draw against Australia and occupy the second spot in round-robin league standings of the Sultan of Johor Cup.
Amandeep (60th minute) saved India with a final minute strike after Boby Singh Dhami (2nd), Sharda Nand Tiwari (8th, 35th) and Arijit Singh Hundal (18th) found the Australian net. Liam Hart (3rd), Jack Holland (8th), Joshua Brooks (20th, 41st) and Jake Lambeth (49th) were the goal scorers for Australia.
Australia are leading the standings with 10 points from four games, while India are placed second with two wins, one draw and one loss.
India had beaten hosts Malaysia 5-2 in their opener, lost 4-5 to South Africa and then thrashed Japan 5-1. Against Australia, the Indians made a superb start with captain Uttam Singh getting to the baseline and laying the ball off for his deputy Dhami to score from their very first move. But less than a minute later, Australia equalized through Hart.
Soon after, Australia surged ahead as Holland found the back of the Indian net to register his first goal of the day.
But Australia’s lead didn’t last long as Tiwari’s crisp shot from a penalty corner levelled the scores. The second quarter kicked off at a high tempo as well, with Dhami looking to run down the Australian defence in the early exchanges. The pressure paid off as Hundal was able to deflect a pass past the Australian goalkeeper to hand India the lead again.
A couple of minutes later, India goalkeeper Mohith Shashikumar conceded a penalty and Brooks made no mistake to make it 3-3 at half time.
After the changeover, India continued their goal hunt and it took them five minutes to succeed as Tiwari converted another penalty corner with conviction. The lead, though, was wiped off in six minutes as Brooks’ penalty corner made it 4-4. Four minutes into the fourth and final quarter, Australia got their nose ahead with Lambeth’s penalty corner conversion.
India came out all guns blazing in search of the equalizer and Amandeep rescued his side by finding the net seconds before the final hooter. India will play Great Britain in their fifth game on Friday.