London, May 27 (PTI) A lacklustre India suffered their second successive defeat in the European leg of the FIH Men’s Hockey Pro League, going down to dominant hosts Great Britain 2-4 here on Saturday.
Timothy Nurse struck a field goal for Great Britain in the sixth minute while Harmanpreet equalised for India from a penalty corner in the 13th minute.
Sorsby Thomas scored Britain’s second in the 31st minute, helping them regain the lead before Lee Morton came up with an excellent goal on the 33rd minute after catching the Indians napping.
Harmanpreet reduced the deficit for India with his second goal of the day — this one too from a penalty corner — in the 42nd minute, the strike helping him become the all-time top-scorer in the Pro League with 35 goals.
Bandurak Nicholas regained England’s two-goal lead with his 53rd minute strike at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre, and India could not put up a fight from there.
India had lost to Olympic champions Belgium 1-2 on Friday.
Nurse opened the account for England with his maiden goal at the senior level. He dribbled his way past Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Mandeep Mor down the left to enter the Indian ‘D’ before shooting the ball past keeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak, who started at goal ahead of the seasoned PR Sreejesh.
Britain scoring a quick first goal was not surprising as the home team started on an aggressive note and seemed to be on the lookout for creating opportunities, even as Hardik Singh earned India an early free-hit with his searing run.
The Indians looked like they were struggling to keep up with the intensity of the Englishmen.
Before the hosts took the lead, Brendan Creed’s pass found an unmarked Sam Ward, but the latter’s attempt was thwarted by a brilliant Pathak at the Indian goal.
Few moments later, Ward was again in the thick of things but Pathak made a timely intervention by kicking the ball away to safety.
Then, the duo of Jarmanpreet Singh and Karthi initiated the first real attacking move by the Indian team, surprising the English goalkeeper and nearly scoring the equaliser.
The Indians found the equaliser when Harmanpreet Singh hit the back of the net off a penalty corner on the 13th minute.
Their morale boosted by the equaliser, the visitors looked to dominate the Britons and called the shots in the second quarter when an Indian goal was also disallowed following a review after the English opted for a video referral.
Meanwhile, Wallace Zachary’s penalty stroke was saved by a diving Sreejesh to keep the match in balance.
However, the hosts regained the lead when Sorsby converted a penalty corner in the third quarter. Morton Lee made it 3-1 for England with the home team’s second strike — a field goal — in the third quarter.
Heading into this game, both India and Great Britain were tied with 19 points at the top of the table, but the latter have consolidated their position following Saturday’s win.
Source: PTI News