HWL: India go down to Britain, settle for fourth place

Antwerp (Belgium), (IANS) India were thumped 5-1 by Great Britain in the third place playoff at the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi Finals at the Brasschaat Municipal Park here on Sunday.

For Britain, Alastair Brogdon, Chris Griffiths, Ashley Jackson, Adam Dixon and skipper Barry Middleton got on the scoresheet, while only Rupinder Pal Singh scored for the losers.

In the first few minutes, both sides tested each other’s defences by some pacy movements in and around the ‘D’ but it was Britain who drew first blood in the 11th minute of the game through a penalty corner. Brogdon did not falter with a rebound attempt that beat P.R. Sreejesh all ends up.

India managed to get some possession back but the passes lacked accuracy and did not help much in finding the equaliser, But, at the other end, Griffiths led his team ahead with an instinctive flick after latching onto a pass from Nick Catlin.

Britain went into half-time leading 2-0.

After the breather, there was no respite for the Indians as the opposition stepped on the gas again. What followed were three goals in a space of seven minutes, as Jackson, Dixon and Barry, all found the back of the net. While Jackson’s was a brilliant field goal set up from a counter attack, Dixon’s was from a penalty corner as he easily deflected the ball past India’s custodian Srejeesh. The skipper then rammed home the fifth.

In the dying seconds of the game, Rupinder got a consolation goal for India.

“I think we started very poorly and gave GB too much of an advantage,” said India captain Sardar Singh after the defeat.

“We are playing with a new strategy and it took some time to adjust, but we have some young players who have done very well playing against higher ranked teams and learned a lot,” he said.

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