London: India defeated Great Britain 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out to earn a bonus point after both sides were locked at 4-4 at the end of the regulation time in a high-scoring second leg FIH Pro League match here on Saturday. Skipper Harmanpreet Singh (7th minute), Mandeep Singh (19th), Sukhjeet Singh (28th) and Abhishek (50th) were the goal scorers for India.
Sam Ward (8th, 40th, 47th, 53rd) was the star for the home team firing all the four goals. The win ensured a bonus point for India but they are still lying second in the standings below Great Britain with 24 points from 12 games.
Great Britain are atop the table with 26 points from 11 matches.
India had earlier lost 4-2 to Great Britain here in the first leg before thrashing Belgium 5-1.
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India will next travel to Eindhoven, Netherlands to play the hosts on June 7 in the Europe leg of their FIH Pro League campaign. Great Britain started on an attacking note and had the first shot at the goal in the third minute through Phil Roper but it was saved by India goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak.
It was a brilliant set up by Rupert Shipperley to get Roper in an one-on-one position for the shot but Pathak showed great reflexes. Three minutes later, Great Britain secured back-to-back penalty corners but once again Pathak came to India’s rescue, saving both of them.
Mandeep then earned a penalty corner for India a minute later and skipper Harmanpreet’s low dragflick sounded the post past Great Britain goalie David Ames to hand the visitors the lead.
India’s joy was shortlived as Ward converted a penalty corner in the very next minute to level the scores. Just at the stroke of the first quarter, Great Britain secured another short corner but Nicholas Bandurak’s drag-flick was deemed dangerous as India survived with both the teams locked at 1-1 after the first 15 minutes.
Both the teams continued to play at a frantic pace in the second quarter but it was India who surged ahead again through Mandeep, who hammered the ball into the goal from Hardik’s Singh brilliant pass.
It was end-to-end action from both the teams but it was Great Britain who earned another scoring chance just three minutes from half time in the form of consecutive penalty corners but once again Pathak turned out to be the saviour for India.
Two minutes from half time, Sukhjeet made it 3-1 in favour of India with a tomahawk after being fed by Hardik as the visitors went into the breather with two-goal cushion.
Both the teams failed to create any clear cut chance after the change of ends till the 40th minute when India conceded another penalty corner and Ward scored with a powerful flick to reduce the margin.
India were guilty of conceding too many penalty corners, four to be precise in the final three minutes of the second quarter, but Great Britain failed to utilise the chances. Just after the start of the final quarter, it was India who secured a set piece but this time Harmanpreet’s effort was blocked by Shipperley.
An unmarked Ward equalised for Great Britain in the 47th minute with a field effort.
Great Britain dominated the possession in the final quarter but it was India who restored their lead in the 50th minute through a field goal from Abhishek from a counter-attack.
It was the Ward show on Saturday as he brought Great Britain level again with a field goal, his fourth of the night. Both Great Britain and India got a few penalty corners in the final minutes of the game but faltered in execution.
In the shoot-out, Manpreet Singh, Harmanpreet, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Abhishek scored for India.
Great Britain’s lone goal from five efforts was scored by Will Calnan, as Zachary Wallace, Shipperley and Roper missed from the one-on-one situation.