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Rediff.com  » Sports » Rupinder Pal 'tricks in win over Britain

Rupinder Pal 'tricks in win over Britain

Last updated on: May 06, 2011 17:58 IST

Rupinder Pal Singh struck thrice from penalty-corners as India beat Great Britain 3-1 in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia, on Friday evening.

The two teams had contrasting fortunes on Thursday, the opening day of the tournament . While Great Britain defeated hosts Malaysia 3-1, India squandered a two-goal lead and lost 2-3 to South Korea.

India knew that they had to get points on the board and thus raised their game while Great Britain were their usual industrious type, hard running and tactical in nature.

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But Great Britain were not their normal self in terms of performance, perhaps affected by the hard match they endured against Malaysia the previous night.

In contrast India played a very intelligent game, slowing down the pace and controlling the tempo, using the flanks to stretch the British defence.

India took the lead in the 10th minute when Rupinder Pal scored off a penalty-corner.

A fine run by Gurbaj Singh on the right flank earned India their second penalty-corner in the 22nd minute, but this time Rupinder failed to get his shot off after being laid up by Dhananjay Mahadik.

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Although Great Britain created chances, they were denied an equalizer by an outstanding Bharat Chetri in the Indian goal.

Great Britain were awarded their fourth penalty-corner and while Mantell beat Chetri this time, Vikas Pillay was on hand to turn the ball around the post to save India.

Rupinder then scored two penalty-corners in the space of two minutes, 55th and 57th, and Great Britain were a beaten side.

James Tindall reduced the deficit in the 62nd minute but this time India were not about to let go off their two-goal advantage.

Late goals take Pak past South Korea

Earlier, Asian Games gold medalists Pakistan asserted their strength, scoring thrice in the final 10 minutes, to edge past joint defending champions South Korea 4-2.

Trailing 1-2 till the 60th minute, Pakistan created several openings and succeeded in breaching the Korean defence thrice for their second victory in the tournament.

Pakistan had defeated New Zealand by a similar margin in the tournament-opener on Thursday, while South Korea had prevailed over India 3-2 in the match featuring last year's joint winners.

Hyun Hye-Sung converted two penalty-corners in the 13th and 46th minutes for South Korea, while Rehan Butt scored an opportunistic goal for Pakistan in the 21st minute.

Pakistan's rally began in the 61st minute when penalty-corner ace Sohail Abbas scored his first goal of the tournament with a drag flick to restore 2-2 parity.

Abdul Haseem Khan capitalized on confusion in the Korean defence and took a second strike in open play -- after picking up a long diagonal ball in the 63rd minute -- to put Pakistan ahead for the first time in the game.

Continuing to assert themselves, Pakistan's strikers split the Korean defence two minutes from time and Waqas Akbar latched on to Muhammad Zubair's pass to sound the board with eight seconds to go.