Rupinder saves day for India

Ireland hold Sardar's men 4-4

Rupinderpal Singh scored two goals as India survived a scare before eking out a 4-4 draw against lower-ranked Ireland in a hard-fought Pool ‘B’ match in the men’s competition of the FIH World League Round 3 here on Thursday.

Rupinderpal (40th, 66th) converted two penalty corners in the second half to save India the blushes after Akashdeep Singh (21st) and Shivendra Singh (47th) scored two field goals.

For Ireland, Alan Sothern (25th), Paul Gleghorne (30th), Andrew McConnell (64th) scored three field goals while the other came from a penalty corner conversion by Conor Harte in the 57th minute.

In the women’s battle, India slumped to crushing 0-7 loss to New Zeland.

New Zealand jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first half without the aid of single short corner tally. Charlotte Harrison got things started nine minutes into the match and a few minutes later, India dug the hole deeper with an own-goal.

Katie Glynn and Sian Fremaux added one goal apiece to close the first-half scoring.

Glynn and Harrison each added a second goal in the second half, while Krystal Forgesson shot in her first of the game to wrap up a commandind win.

Sloppy defending

Even though India (11) are ranked four places higher than Ireland (15) in the world rankings, it didn’t really show in their game on the day.

The defensive line has been their perennial problem and that area once again came to hound India against the Irish, who looked impressive and threatening the entire duration of the match.

There was clear lack of co-ordination between the Indian mid-field and forwardline, at least in the opening half, and they were also guilty of giving away the ball far more easily to their opponents.

The Indians, however, surged ahead in the 21st minute when Akashdeep trapped a cross from Mandeep and slammed home a winner with a fierce hit from top of the circle.

India’s joy, however, remained shortlived as Ireland drew parity four minutes later when Sothern scooped over a charging Indian goalie PR Sreejesh after some fine stick work on the left flank.

India will play The Netherlands in their next match on Saturday, while Ireland will be up against New Zealand.

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