Resurgent South Africa down India

Resurgent South Africa down India

A resurgent South Africa tamed India 3-1 in the third match of the ‘Test’ series at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here on Thursday.

The visitors, growing from strength to strength, had given a peek into their potential in the previous game where they almost held India to a draw.

South Africa scored through Lloyd Madsen (21st minute), Ian Haley (35th) and Craig Haley (55th) while Sandeep Singh (49th) netted the consolation goal for India.

The Indian defence was shaky and despite making several forays into the rival citadel the hosts’ strikers failed to convert them into goals. The Indians were outplayed in the first half.

To make matters worst, Sandeep Singh's foot touched the ball with the goalkeeper out of position. It resulted in a penalty stroke which Madson converted for South Africa to put the visitors ahead.

Stunned by the reversal, India tried to get their act together but they were reduced to hapless onlookers as South Africa ceaselessly breached their defence. Ian rounded off a forgettable first half for the Indians when after receiving a perfect pass from the left, he tapped the ball in. South Africa led 2-0 at the breather.

The hosts got off to a rousing start in the second half with Rajpal Singh and Sardar Singh creating some good openings. Young striker Yuvraj Walmiki, who was playing his first match after an injury lay-off, was clearly rusty.

India was given a momentary relief through their third penalty corner which Sandeep converted with a solid strike. Craig rounded off the tally for visitors by slotting home a pass from the right.

India coach Michael Nobbs said there were several “passengers” in the side which put the responsibility on the seniors to carry the match. “We are trying different combinations. It has given us a fair idea about a lot of players. We will be fielding a stronger team in the next two games,” he said.

Eves clinch series

In the women's ‘Test’ series, India defeated Azerbaijan 2-0 for a four-match whitewash.
After a goal-less first half, India earned a penalty stroke and Jaspreet Kaur (44th) was flawless in converting it. It was soon followed by Rani Rampaul’s (68th) strike in the dying minutes.

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