- The match ended 1-1
- Mandeep scored for India
- Australia equalised through a penalty corner
India kicked off their Hockey World League Final campaign with a 1-1 draw against the mighty Australian side. Playing their first match of the tournament in Bhuvaneshwar, India and Australia matched each other in every department of the game as an equally contested match proved a real sight to view for the spectators who had turned out in large numbers. Having taken the lead through Mandeep in the 20th minute, India defended well throughout the match but a lapse in defending saw them concede an equaliser through a well taken penalty corner by the Australians.
A clearly pumped up Indian side was encouraged heavily by the home supporters as they took the field to face defending champions Australia in Odisha. The Indians made a sparkling start as they started the match on the front foot and their persistence soon paid off as they made an early incursion into the Australian half. They were unlucky to not score from the chance and Australia responded soon with a counterattack but the resultant attempt at goal was weak.
The Pool B encounter that saw full metal attacking hockey at play soon saw its first goal after India raced into the lead in the 20th minute via Mandeep. A lovely cross from Manpreet to Sunil opened up the Australian defence who pushed the ball to Mandeep. Keeping him calm and composure Mandeep easily took the ball past Tyler to hand India 1-0 lead. The joy was however short-lived as Australia converted a penalty corner with Jeremy Hayward levelling things up only a minute later. The first-half ended with both sides on equal footing.
The second half complimented the first one perfectly with both sides not pausing in their efforts to win the match. With neither able to find that one vital goal, the match ended 1-1 and was the perfect result given each team’s performance on the day.India next face England on Saturday evening while Australia take on Germany.