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India register a win at last
August 20, 2005 18:33 IST
India just about managed to avoid the ignominy of finishing last as they laboured to a scrappy 2-1 victory over England to take the seventh position in the Rabo Trophy hockey tournament in Amstelveen on Saturday.
After three consecutive defeats, the beleaguered Indians managed to break the sequence of debacles with a face-saving victory but the performance still left much to be desired for a team which has shown no signs of a turnaround.
India shot into the lead just two minutes before the breather through Gagan Ajit Singh before Deepak Thakur consolidated the position in the 53rd minute in a lacklustre encounter at the Wagener stadium.
James Tindall scored a consolation goal for England in the last minute which saw some dramatic moments as the Englishmen got an opportunity to restore the balance with a penalty corner at the stroke of the hooter.
But the jittery Indians had some luck going their way and escaped to victory much to the relief of coach Rajinder Singh Jr who has blamed some "big-headed" seniors for the team's miseries in this prestigious eight-nation tournament.
The Indians owed their victory to rookie goalkeeper Bharat Chetri who was quite outstanding under the bar in his very first match in the tournament. Chetri pulled off a number of spectacular saves to keep his team afloat against the opponents who lacked the scoring prowess.