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India beat South Africa

April 17, 2004 17:04 IST

Riding on a brace each from Gagan Ajit Singh and Deepak Thakur, India rallied to beat South Africa 6-4 and move into the final against hosts Australia in the Four-nation Challenge hockey tournament in Canberra, Australia on Saturday. 

Trailing 3-2 at half-time, India were jolted again when Greg Nicol sounded the board to score the fourth goal for the Africans. However, India came roaring back with Arjun Halappa scoring in the 46th minute to bring his team back into the match.

Deepak Thakur then scored a field goal in the 50th minute to attain parity and seven minutes later converted a penalty corner to give the Indians the lead.

Buoyed by the turn in fortunes, Indian attacks gained in incisiveness and Gagan Ajit Singh scored India's sixth in the  65th minute to complete the comeback.

In the first half, Gagan Ajit Singh provided India an early lead by scoring in the 10th minute, followed by Arjun Halappa who sent the ball home in the 17th minute doubling the Indian lead.

But the South Africans hit back with Greg Nicole scoring in the 22nd minute followed by a penalty corner conversion by Ian Symons in the 26th minute. Denzil Dolley struck a minute later, taking South Africa's tally to three at half-time.

In the day's second game, Australia hammered nine goals past a hapless Malaysia to confirm their berth in the final.

India beat Malaysia 4-1 in the opener before going down to Australia 5-0 in their next match.

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