FIH Pro League: Harmanpreet's hat-trick helps India beat England 4-3

An improved display from the Indian men’s hockey team saw it complete a 4-3 win and a double over England in the FIH Pro League at the Kalinga Stadium on Sunday.

Harmanpreet Singh

Harmanpreet Singh (centre) scored a hat-trick in India's 4-3 win against England in the FIH Pro League match at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.   -  HOCKEY INDIA

An improved display from the Indian men’s hockey team saw it complete a 4-3 win and a double over England in the FIH Pro League at the Kalinga Stadium on Sunday.

While the game started in a similar manner to Saturday, England getting its second penalty corner inside the seventh minute and converting from it, that’s where the parallels ended. From there on, India dominated its counterpart and appeared in control as opposed to the previous evening. After 10 outings, Graham Reid’s men extended their lead at the top of the table to four points over Germany, which has two games in hand.

India had Harmanpreet Singh to thank, as he completed 100 senior goals on the night, while scoring a hat-trick. Shilanand Lakra and Abhishek offered creative spark in attack but chances were limited in open play, despite 24 entries into the England D. But it converted four of its rather one-dimensional penalty corner routines, which proved to be the difference.

The young English team gave a good account of itself over the two legs but as skipper Thomas Sorsby had predicted before the matches, the teams were separated only by small margins in the end.

READ: FIH Pro League: Indian men's team beats England 3-2 in shootout

India’s equaliser came at the end of the first quarter, when the home side replicated England’s penalty corner routine, from which Liam Sanford opened the scoring earlier. Harmanpreet passed it to Abhishek, whose effort was saved by James Mazarelo, but Manpreet Singh was on hand to smash home the rebound.

The second quarter was a near-one way traffic with India calling the shots. Harmanpreet struck twice from the penalty corner, scoring from the first battery, before switching to the second, a minute later, producing the same result.

Down by two goals, England started the second half stronger. The third quarter saw a flurry of penalty corners from which both sides scored. Sam Ward scored after three successive attempts, while Harmanpreet completed his hat-trick at the fifth consecutive try. Ward then scored again from a penalty corner at the end of the third quarter to reduce the deficit but the away side couldn’t find the equaliser in the end.

England removed the keeper for an extra outfielder in the final five minutes in search of the equaliser, but India managed to see out the game for the win.

RESULT:

India (Manpreet Singh 15', Harmanpreet Singh 25', 26', 42' ) 4 bt England (Liam Sanford 7', Sam Ward 38', 43') 3

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