Hockey: Ramandeep, Chinglensana star in India’s 4-3 win over Austria

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Amstelveen (Netherlands), Aug 17 (IANS) The Indian hockey team rode on twin strikes from Ramandeep Singh and Chinglensana Singh Kanjugam to register a sensational 4-3 win over Austria in their final encounter of the Europe Tour here.

Ramandeep (25th minute, 32nd min) and Chinglensana (37th min, 60th min) helped India overcome Austria on Wednesday, and end their tour with three wins and two loses.

After two successive wins against World No.4 The Netherlands, India made a steady start against Austria. While they kept most of the ball possession, penetrating into the striking circle was hard to come by. In fact, it was Austria who took an early lead through Oliver Binder’s goal in the 14th minute to end the quarter 1-0.

India however, made amends in the second quarter when they won a penalty corner (PC) in the 25th minute. A clever variation saw comeback-man Amit Rohidas pass the ball to Ramandeep Singh who deflected the ball into the circle to equalise the score to 1-1.

The 10-minute halftime break saw India come back into the game as a stronger team with better attack. They made better circle penetrations and a brilliant breakthrough came in when Ramandeep scored a rollicking field goal in the 32nd minute.

It was a reverse hit from the top of circle which flew past the Austrian goalkeeper to give India a 2-1 lead. India found another chance to score when Mandeep Singh helped win a PC through a stick check.

But the opportunity when amiss with the ball hitting the cross bar. However, another opportunity created by Mandeep again was successfully converted by India vice captain Chinglensana Singh in the 37th minute through a superb variation by drag-flicker Varun Kumar.

Going into the final 15 minutes, India had a comfortable 3-1 lead. But a determined Austria put one past the India goalkeeper when they won a PC and Michael Korpher converted it successfully in the 53rd minute to set up a close finish.

Though India had won a PC only minutes before- thanks to forward Gurjant Singh, injector Manpreet Singh sent the ball slightly wide. With a little over eight minutes left, forward Lalit Upadhyay found a great opportunity to score but failed to beat the Austrian goalkeeper.

Austria then pushed India on the back foot when they scored in the 55th minute via Patrick Schmidt to equalise 3-3. It was a tense final few minutes with India pushing hard for a goal.

With just 10 seconds left for the final hooter, Chinglensana scored a sensational goal when Ramandeep made a brilliant circle penetration to find Gurjant Singh. A cross hit by Gurjant saw Chinglensana deflect the ball into the goal and seal the match with winning points.

–IANS

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