Azlan Shah Cup: India defeats Ireland, finishes fifth

India pumped in four goals to avenge its loss to the same side on Friday.

Sardar Singh dribbles past Irish players in the fifth place playoff on Saturday.   -  AFP

India avenged its round-robin stage shock on Friday to defeat Ireland 4-1 in the Azlan Shah Cup here on Saturday. The result helped India finish fifth in the tourney.

Varun Kumar (5th, 32nd minutes) scored a brace, while Shilanand Lakra (28th) and Gurjant Singh (37th) found the net once each. Ireland’s solitary goal was scored by Julian Dale in the 48th minute.

India began the game strongly, earning back-to-back penalty corners in the fifth minute. Though the first attempt was saved, Varun sounded the board from the second chance to hand his side the lead. India continued its attacking game in the second quarter; it struck in the 28th minute when striker Shilanand beat Ireland goalkeeper Jamie Carr from close range after being fed with Nilam Sanjeep Xess’ fierce pass from the right of the circle.

India won another penalty corner in the 32nd minute; Varun scored with a fierce dragflick past Carr to help India take a 3-0 lead.

India’s next goal came in the 37th minute, via Gurjant. Talwinder Singh received a good pass from Simranjeet Singh and laid it to Gurjant who made no mistake in slotting the ball home. Though India conceded a goal in the 48th minute, the team’s defence remained resolute throughout the match, restricting Ireland’s number of circle entries.

India earned another penalty corner in the 50th minute and a final one towards the end, but failed to convert. The work was already done, though.

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