Sports

India settle for a draw against Australia in HWL Finals opener

India settle for a draw against Australia in HWL Finals opener

Bhubaneswar: The third edition of the men's Hockey World League Final kicked off amid a glittering opening ceremony at Kalinga Stadium here in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

India dominated the game from the very beginning and took the lead in the 20th minute when Mandeep Singh pushed the ball inside the net. India goalie Akash Chikte had kept out their first PC but this time he was a mere spectator. But, the momentum eventually was equalled by the World Number 2 Australia. Playing his 200th match for India, Manpreet was outstanding to say the least.

India created numerous scoring chances in the match but their forwards, especially Gurjant Singh and Akashdeep, were off colour. He tried to reverse flick it from the left of the D but it was easily kept out by Australian goalkeeper Tyler Lovell.

Two minutes later, Lovell came to his side's rescue again as he made a double save to deny the hosts.

In the second match of the day, India opened their campaign with a resolute 1-1 draw against defending champions Australia.

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Three minutes from break Akashdeep had the best chance of the quarter but after outfoxing a defender he turned around and hit it well outside.

India got two back-to-back penalty corners in the second half but failed to convert them.

Mats Grambusch and Christopher Ruhr scored as four-time Olympic champions Germany started their campaign with a convincing 2-0 win over England in the opening match of the tournament.

On Saturday, all the eight nations will be in action with hosts India taking on England while Argentina will face Belgium, Netherlands will go against Spain and Germany will lock horns with Australia.


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