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India score over Britain
July 16, 2004 22:47 IST
India missed chances galore before prevailing over Great Britain 2-0 in their opening match of the DSD four-nation men's hockey tournament in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Friday.
Sandeep Singh and Adam Sinclair scored the goals in either half to give the Indians something to cheer about after a string of disappointing performances in recent times.
The Indians, hoping to gain some form ahead of the Athens Olympics, could have won by a bigger margin had their forwards not frittered away a number of scoring opportunities at the Deutscher Sporsklub.
A 30th minute penalty-corner goal by the 18-year old Sandeep put India ahead.
Both the teams had difficulty adjusting to the slippery and over-watered turf even though the sun came out brightly.
India earned three penalty-corners in the first session but could convert only one, the British having no answer to Singh's fierce drag flick.
The Indians began the second half full of promise and penetrated the rival defence with surprising ease.
They should have increased the score line in the 39th minute but for a gutsy stop by goalkeeper Ebworth, who foiled Deepak Thakur's rasping shot from the edge of the circle.
Ebworth was to be the hero for his team as he came into action many times to blunt the sharp Indian onslaughts from Gagan Ajit Singh, Dhanraj Pillay and Prabhjot Singh.
However, in the 52nd minute, the Indians found their second goal through Sinclair, who grabbed the opportunity at the goalmouth set up by Gagan Ajit Singh. The 20-year old had no difficulty in pushing in after finding himself unmarked in front of the goal.
Buoyed by this success, India were all over Britain with superior midfield play and ball control. But they wasted several chances to increase the tally.
This was Britain's first defeat against India in 12 years. Their previous loss came at Reading in 1992 in the pre-Olympic European tour.