India vs Australia Hockey Highlights: Hockey Pro League Highlights – India defeated Australia 4-3 in shootout as the hosts remained unbeaten in the second leg of the Hockey Pro League on Wednesday, 15th March 2023. By the end of the first-half both the teams In the final quarter, a moment of brilliance from Sukhjeet has gave India the lead.
However Australia fought back yet again. In the shootout, India prevailed 4-3. The match was played at the Birsa Munda Stadium in Rourkela.
India vs Australia Hockey Highlights: India defeat Australia 4-3 in shootout in Hockey Pro League 2023 – Watch Highlights
India won an early penalty corner in the game and the Men in Blue capitalised by opening the scoring. Harmanpreet Singh’s flick hit the pads of the keeper and on the rebound, Vivek Sagar, who was playing his 100th match collected the ball, brought it into the circle and unleashed a powerful shot perfectly into the bottom right corner of the goal.
India nearly doubled their lead through Hardik, as a cross by Sukhjeet evaded Indian and Australian sticks in front of the goal to reach Hardik on the far post, but his reverse flick was off target.
In the second quarter, Nathan Ephraums came close to levelling the score midway through the second quarter as he rounded Sreejesh and took a shot from a narrow angle, but his shot hit the post and went out of play. Australia eneded the first half without a goal.
Australian ascendancy continued to start the second half. They won a penalty corner in the second minute of the restart. Anand Gupte whipped a powerful drag flick from the corner but it went just wide to the left. Australia finally got the equaliser in the 37th minute. Pawan’s tackle across Ephraums did not make contact with the ball but brought the Australian forward down, winning them a penalty stroke, which was dispatched with ease by Ephraums.
India went into the lead early in the final quarter as a spectacular spin and cross by Sukhjeet in the Australian circle was put into the goal by Ockenden as he tried to step in front of Karthi. It was a double blow for the visitors as Ockenden referred the goal for a push in the build-up but there was no evidence of the same and Australia lost their referral.
Australia pulled level midway through the final quarter as a fantastic routine from a penalty corner saw Ephraums deflect a low shot by Howard that wrong-footed Sreejesh and crashed into the backboard. Neither team could find a winner in a nervy final quarter with most of the game played in the midfield. The game headed into a shoot-out, with both teams looking for the bonus point after sealing a point each from the draw in regulation time.
Through the first five attempts the teams stayed level on 3-3. With the game heading into sudden death, Harmanpreet scored his second attempt in the shoot-outs giving India the lead, and Sreejesh made his 3rd save of the shoot-outs against Jack Welch to give India the win in the shoot-outs and the bonus point.