Kookaburras defeat Rio champs to make Malaysian hockey final

Gwen Vasquez
March 11, 2018

India were knocked out of medal contention after a historic 2-3 defeat to Ireland in a crucial match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia on Friday.

Julian Dale exploited some poor marking by the Indian defenders to get a consolation goal for the European minnows in the final quarter.

Having recovered from defeat against Australia in their first match of the competition to draw with India and Argentina, either side of a win against Ireland, Bobby Crutchley's side saw Hampstead & Westminster's two-time Olympian Harry Martin, formerly of Old Loughtonians, win his 100th England cap as they looked to secure their progress.

With 1-0 lead, India had to contain Ireland and ensure they stayed ahead.

India will next play in the 5-6th place match Saturday.

But two minutes later, India won their third penalty corner of the match and this time, Amit Rohidas's flick was strong enough to fly past the Irish goalie, giving the 2017 bronze medallists 2-1 lead. It was an infringement on Ireland's part when Simranjeet Singh was attempting a shot on goal that resulted in the penalty corner.

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Australia then thought they had won the game with seven minutes left as Sharp lifted the ball over George Pinner after his deflection on a Mark Knowles corner flick was saved by the 'keeper, but Ward rifled in a brilliant shot seconds later after a great pass by Ansell to set up a grandstand finish.

In the second quarter, forward Shilanand Lakra beat Ireland's goalkeeper Jamie Carr to double the lead to 2-0.

India's next goal came off Gurjant's sticks in the 37th minute.

The start of the third quarter remained just as finely balanced, with the two sides cancelling each other out well. In the 26th minute though Amit Rohidas helped India reclaim the lead with a splendid PC, finding the top net with a fiercely-struck dragflick.

India earned another penalty corner in the 50th minute and a final one towards the end, but failed to convert.

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