Poor start for Indian men in Oz tour, eves continue to impress
Rockingham (Australia): The Indian men`s hockey team started their sojourn Down Under on a disappointing note, losing 1-4 to Australia `A` in the first international friendly on Monday.
At the Rockingham club ground, some 50kms from Perth, a rusty India dished out a spineless display and conceded two soft goals in both the halves.
Don Hotchkis (7th minute), Jacob Whetton (21st), Matt Ghodes (57th) and Tom Wickham (61st) scored for Australia, while Rupinder Singh (30th) converted a penalty corner for India out of the half-a-dozen they earned during the match.
However, Indian eves brought some relief for the visitors when they drew the third Test against Australia 1-1 at Mundrah, a suburb about 100 km from Perth.
The Australian women surged ahead with a third-minute goal, only to see Vandana Kataria equalising 17 minutes later.
Indian men`s team chief coach Michael Nobbs, however, refused to give too much importance to the defeat but said it was a "good leason" for his wards.
"We played againts the best team. When you do so, you are not supposed to commit mistakes. We did commit a lot of them, and got punished. This is a good lesson for team," he said.
The women`s team manager, AS Subbaiah, meanwhile, was ecstatic with the outcome of the match.
"We are improving match by match. Today, Austrlaia put up a good fight to snatch the series, but we could manage to draw," Subbaiah said.
Monday’s drawn result means that the four-match series is tied at 1-1 with both the teams taking on each other in the fourth and final Test on Tuesday.
India had earlier lost the series opener 2-3 to Australia before drawing parity in the series with a hard-fought 2-1 win over the home team in the second Test on Saturday.
The Indian men`s team, meanwhile, will again play Australia `A` in their second international friendly at Mundrah on Tuesday.