India out of final race

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Mar 2018 10:57:43



IPOH (Malaysia),

A LISTLESS India went down to Australia 2-4 for their second loss in three matches, pushing them out of the race to reach the final at the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey here.Late goals by Ramandeep Singh (52’, 53’) were only enough to avoid a whitewash against table toppers Australia. Mark Knowles (28’), Aran Zalewski (35’), Daniel Beale (38’) and Blake Govers (40’) scored for Australia.

India, who have rested many senior players for the tournament, had lost their opener to Argentina 2-3 before drawing 1-1 with England.
On Tuesday was a must-win match for India but getting the better of the Australians proved to be tough as always.
With better ball possession in the first quarter, India created three potential chances to score but could not convert.

A golden opportunity was lost when a swift assist from Ramandeep Singh to Shilanand Lakra could not get past Australian goalkeeper Andrew Charter in the 8th minute.
Though the rebound was taken by Sumit, his shot on goal went wide and India missed out on taking an early lead.
Though the team’s defense remained resolute in the first quarter as it kept World Champions Australia from making forays into the circle, an infringement in the 28th minute saw the Indian team concede a penalty stroke.
Australian skipper Mark Knowles was accurate in his attempt as he sent the ball past Krishan Pathak like a bolt, giving Australia a 1-0 lead.

With seconds to go before the second hooter, India won the first PC of the match but the opportunity went begging with young dragflicker Varun Kumar’s shot rebounding off the cross bar.The Australian forwards too didn’t seem like they were having a great outing in the initial minutes having missed a sure-shot opportunity to score earlier in the second quarter with Tom Craig not making a strong connection for deflection.Australia’s Ciriello joins team as analytical coach WITH an eye on the upcoming Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, Hockey India has roped in former Australia dragflick specialist Chris Ciriello as the analytical coach of the men’s side.

Even though his appointment is yet to be officially confirmed by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the 32-year-old Ciriello, the youngest to join the Indian team management, started working with the Indian national side
from the New Zealand tour in January.However, a top Hockey India official has confirmed that Ciriello is already on board and it’s a matter of time that SAI makes the official announcement.


“Ciriello started working with the team in the New Zealand tour. He is currently in Bangalore at the national camp.
“His tenure is till 2020 Olympics. “The official announcement about his appointment will be made by the Sports Ministry,” the HI official told PTI.The official, however, refused to divulge the remuneration of the big-shouldered Australian, nicknamed ‘Big Dog’.