Madrid (Spain): The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey team lost 1-2 to Great Britain in their 5th-6th place classification match of the 8-Nations U-21 Invitational held here on Sunday. In a tough and close encounter, India’s loss saw them settle for sixth place in the tournament.
India were looking to finish the tournament on a winning note, and grab the 5th place in the classification. They went into the game with a positive approach and were intent on holding as much of the possession as possible while holding a tight defensive structure. They were the better team in the earlier exchanges, and reaped the reward at the end of the quarter as Maninder Singh finished off a superb move to score the opener in the 15th minute.
Knowing that they held the advantage, India were intent on shutting down their defensive hatches and keeping Great Britain at bay in the second quarter. They held their line brilliantly while looking to attack the counter. But, in the 29th minute, Great Britain finally had their breakthrough from a Penalty Corner. Daniel West slotted home his drag-flick to drag them level as the two teams went into half-time at 1-1.
In the first minute of the restart, India found themselves at an advantage, Samuel Hooper earning a green card and leaving his team a player down. India pressed forward but were unable to convert their man advantage into a goal. In the 37th minute, Great Britain’s Andrew McConnell scored their second to give them the lead as they went into the final break.
India ramped up the pressure in the final quarter, knowing that the onus was on them to make the breakthrough. Despite a lot of possession, and creative, energetic attacking play, in the end, their inability to break Great Britain down in the final third cost them as the match finished 2-1 in favour of Great Britain.