Hockey: India go down 1-5 to Australia, lose series

Australia men’s hockey team put up a clinical performance to outclass India 5-1 in the fourth match of the series being held at the MATE Stadium, in Adelaide. With this victory, Australia seal the five-match series 3-1, with one more match to be played on Sunday.

Jeremy Hayward (29′, 41′) scored twice in the home team’s win while Jake Whetton (30′), Tom Wickham (34′) and Matt Dawson (54′) were the other goal scorers. For India, Dilpreet Singh (25′) was the lone goal scorer.

The world no. 1 side showcased their defensive prowess today, led by goalkeeper Andrew Charter who made some fine saves to keep India from scoring.

After the initial few minutes of struggle to make space in the striking circle, India made the breakthrough in the 25th minute thanks to Dilpreet. India could not hold on to the lead as Australia responded with a goal in the next four minutes. It was in-form Hayward who converted a penalty corner in the 29th minute. Only a minute later, they put another one in the net through Jake Whetton.

Even though Indian forwards made desperate forays into the striking circle in the following two quarters, they could not breach the home team’s defence. To add to their woes, Australia scored goals at regular intervals giving India no room to bounce back.

Two goals in the third quarter via Tom Wickham in the 34th minute and Hayward in the 41st minute further put India under the pump. The final quarter too saw Australia ride on the momentum, they increased the lead to 5-1 from a penalty corner in the 54th minute.

“Australia were definitely a better team today. They played defensively right from the start and we could not capitalize on the lead by putting pressure on them. As I had said earlier, this tour has given us great exposure and playing against a quality side like Australia is always a learning experience. We now know the areas that we need to further work on ahead of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela,” Captain Harmanpreet Singh said.

“We will try and bounce back in tomorrow’s match and look to end the tour on a good note,” he added.

Match 5: India vs. Australia on Sunday, December 4 (11 AM IST).

Matches will be live on Star Sports First, Star Sports Select 1 SD and Star Sports Select 1 HD ok linear TV. Disney + Hotstar will also stream the matches live.

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