FIH Series Finals - As it happened: India beats Poland 3-1

Captain Manpreet Singh scored a brace, Harmanpreet Singh added a third as India earned a hard-fought 3-1 win over Poland at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar on Friday.

India hammered ten goals past Poland without a reply, previously when the teams met previously.   -  Hockey India Twitter

Hello and welcome to the LIVE score updates, commentary of the FIH Hockey Series Finals Pool A match between India and Poland at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar on Friday.

 

FULL-TIME: INDIA 3-1 POLAND

It has been a tough game for India and will be relieved to get out of the game unscathed. Poland has been set up to defend to the last man and it has succeeded to shut down India for the majority of the match. However, two goals from skipper Manpreet Singh helped India open the scoring and then gain back the lead after Mateusz Hulboj hit the equaliser. Harmanpreet's third quarter goal got India the cushion it needed, but the Indian forwards have been lacking the sting in the final fourth.

60' India tries one final attack but Poland defenders parry it off the pitch.

58' That could be the last chances of the game. Akashdeep gets into a good position to finish from close range but is Pacanowski hustles him off the ball.

55' Gursahibjit Singh goes for a trap at point-blank range after Harmanpreet's free-hit comes into the circle at full speed. He should have done better there.

53' Another mistake by Harmanpreet gives away possession to Janiszewski, who tries to dribble through the right side. The defender makes up for his mistake by clearing the ball away.

50' Indian midfielder Manpreet and Hardik try to box in Dominik Kotulski near the half-line but are unable to shake him off the ball. But a poor Polish forwardline wastes the midfielder's determined effort.

48' Poland has a sustained spell of possession now. Jakub Janicki makes a mess of a through ball inside the circle and India spreads out the play.

47' Poland has a shot on target! Another long ball from the right flank and a poor block by Varun Kumar helps Janiszewski take a shot at the goal, but it is straight at Krishan Pathak.

- End of Q3 -

45' Harmanpreet tries to find Varun Kumar on the left, but Poland repels the attack well to bring an end to India's best quarter in the match.

43' Frustration for India! Amit Rohidas slices open the defence with a long pass from the left which reaches Mandeep as the forward takes the shot from close range. Pacanowski manages to a get his palm to deflect the shot.

41' Birendra Lakra frees Mandeep on the right, but Pacanowski is quickly off the line to thwart the attack.

40' PC for India! Amit Rohidas executes a perfect dummy and sets up Varun Kumar to pull the trigger, but the Kumar's shot is straight at Pacanowski.

38' Poor finishing from India! Manpreet Singh steals the ball inside the 15-yard area and cuts it back to Nilkanta Sharma who puts Gursahibjit through to the goal. However, the youngster passes it to Manpreet at the far post who is unable to finish it past the goalkeeper.

36' GOAL INDIA! Mandeep Singh wins a penalty corner and Harmanpreet hits the target as he goes for the top portion of the net and scores. This should shake India off its lethargy from the first half.

35' Manpreet tries to hit a cross from the right channel, but hits straight at his counterpart Pawel Bratkowski, who takes a hit on the knee. However, the Polish captain gets back up again.

34' India tries to pin down Poland on the left corner, but gives ends up giving away a free-hit.

32' Poland counterattack which falls to Hulboj but Harmanpreet makes a smart clearance and Hardik takes it safety.

31' Hardik Singh is unable to get past his marker as India looks to up tempo with its passing.

HALF-TIME: INDIA 2-1 POLAND

It has been a tough half hour for India which has clearly not expected such intensity from the Poles. Manpreet Singh has marauded higher up the pitch, unlike his usual defensive role in the midfield. His new role has yielded two goals, but left India vulnerable in the middle of the pitch. Some of the positional errors from Sumit Kumar and Hardik Singh has allowed Poland to go forward.

30' Poland has not shown any nerves despite conceding twice and Joseph Hillyer comes close near the goal.

27' MANPREET WITH THE SECOND! India replies immediately, Mandeep's one-two with Manpreet helps the midfielder have a shot at the goal from a tight angle and it goes in. It is a scrappy goal, but India wont mind.

26' POLAND EQUALISES! Poor defending by the Indians. Dominik Kotulski is offered too much space on the right as he crosses into the circle. A stick deflection from Amit Rohidas falls to Mateusz Hulboj who smashes it past Krishan Pathak for the equaliser.

25' Ramandeep Singh skies his reverse hit while a cheeky backpass from Mandeep puts Akashdeep through, but nothing comes out of it.

23' Another PC for India! Pressure from Nilakanta Sharma and Mandeep Singh results in a short corner for India. Harmanpreet Singh executes a dummy as Varun Kumar takes the shot, but makes a mess of it as the ball flies over the bar.

21' MANPREET OPENS THE SCORING! Superb by the Indian captain. Amit Rohidas goes for the bottom of the goalpost which is straight at the Maciej Pacanowski. Mandeep pounces on the rebound and scoops it over the Polish custodian.

21' Another PC for India! Harmanpreet Singh wins the corner for India.

20' PC for India! Two shots on the goal from Simranjeet and Akashdeep results in a struggle with the goalkeeper and India wins its first PC of the game. Harmanpreet goes for the bottom left but is cleared away by Poland.

19' Poland has been unable stitch three passes together outside its own half, but manages to spread out the play.

16' India immediately on the offensive as Mandeep is tackled successfully inside the circle and press higher up the pitch.

- End of Q1 -

15' Poland runs down the clock bringing an end to a lacklustre opening quarter for India. There were circle entries, but the higher-ranked host has been unable to create clear-cut chances.

13' Mandeep asks for a penalty for a stick check from behind. He does not wait for the umpire's call and runs to retrieve the ball. Akashdeep combines with Simranjeet but is unable to get a shot away which shows Poland's disciplined approach to the game.

11' Poland are down to ten men after Maciej Janiszewski is shown a green card, who will be out for two minutes.

9' India looks settled in the game as it makes two more circle entries. A chance falls to Vivek Prasad who is unmarked, but he gives away a free-hit to Poland.

8' Across the goalmouth! Amit Rohidas plays a cross-field pass to Manpreet inside the circle who brings it down and passes it to the onrushing Gursahibjit Singh at the far post, but the youngster is unable to get a touch on the ball.

6' CLOSE! Manpreet Singh puts Mandeep Singh through to Akashdeep at the far post. But Poland goalkeeper Maciej Pacanowski is alert and parries the ball away to safety.

4' Poland looks assured in possession as India tries to shut down its midfield. Poland is trying to build from the back but the clustered Indian midfield forces the visitor to pass back.

3' India makes the first inroads into the opposition circle, Harmanpreet tries to find Akashdeep Singh on the right but the pass is intercepted by Poland.

1' Poland wins a PC! Surender Kumar gives away an easy penalty corner. Michal Poltaszewski, the second battery takes the dragflick but goes for a variation, which is cleared by India. Great start by the Poles.

1' Here we go! Poland begins the proceedings from left to right.

The teams are out on the pitch for the national anthems.

Just few more minutes to pushback....

Here is the Starting XI

 

- Earlier in the day, Asian Games champion Japan (Zendana Hirotaka 3', 34', Shota Yamada 21') beat Mexico (Erik Hernandez 3') 3-1, while Russia put its 10-0 loss to India behind it with a 12-1 thrashing of Uzbekistan as Semen Matkovskiy scored five goals.

- Despite a big win the opening match against Russia, India coach Graham Reid was far from satisfied with the team's performance.

Read | Graham Reid: It is difficult to judge games against Russia

- The last time these two sides met was March 29, 2019 in the Round-robin game of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia, where India cruised to victory scoring the same amount of goals it scored on Thursday - 10-0. Varun Kumar and captain Manpreet Singh scores braces in that match.

- Head-to-Head: Total -11 | India - 9| Poland - 1 | Draw- 1

- India made a superb start to the FIH Series Finals with a 10-0 thumping of Russia on Thursday, while Poland had a fruitful outing against lowly-ranked Uzbekistan with a 4-0 win.

Read | India routs Russia 10-0 in the opener

The match will be live streaming on Hotstar at 7pm.