Ravi strikes late as India hold China

Hockey Azlan Shah Cup

China went ahead in the 13th minute through Sun Tianjun and India, after squandering several chances, equalised at the fag end of the tie when Ravi Pal Singh scored from a goalmouth melee.

India went all out for an early lead and mounted attacks before their rivals could settle down.

Winger Mandeep Antil sent a crisp cross into the striking circle but Danish Mujtaba erred and soon Tushar Khandker cut in from the left flank to set up Shivendra Singh whose push missed the mark.

China gradually started asserting their supremacy with regular onslaughts as their swift ball rotation had the Indian defence in disarray and it was left to the versatile Sardar Singh to blunt the Chinese moves.
India nearly conceded the lead in the 11th minute but goalkeeper Sreejesh brought off a good save from a turnover.
China finally opened account two minutes later when Sun Tianjun deflected home from a Meng Jun reverse.

The Chinese players had the Indian midfield on a tight leash and forwards Sarvanjit Singh and Shivendra Singh were often caught napping.
To their credit, India earned five penalty corners but the flicks and variations were not good for the equaliser.
In an earlier match, South Korea whipped Egypt 6-0.

Brasa skips press-do
There was drama after the match with Indian chief coach Jose Brasa skipping the mandatory post-match press conference because of a Sports Authority of India (SAI) gag order on him.

Following India’s labouring draw, Brasa refused to attend the mandatory press meet and instead assistant coach Clarence Lobo came out for the interaction with the media.
Media officer Satwant Singh said that Brasa had told him that he was prevented from talking to media. The issue has been reported to the tournament director, who would take the final call on the matter, Satwant said.

When contacted, Brasa acknowledged receiving such a letter from SAI.

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