Perth, Nov 8 :
The Indian men’s hockey team stunned World Champions Australia 1-0 to win successive matches and take a 2-1 lead in the four-match Test series at the Perth Hockey Stadium here Saturday.
Playing his 100th international match, Rupinder Pal Singh came in as the captain in the absence of Sardar Singh. Making full use of the opportunity, Rupinder led the team to victory and gave the visitors their second win of the series.
The game started with both teams attacking the opponents D but their efforts did not yield any result in the entire session, leaving the scorecard 0-0. With a goalless first quarter, the second quarter was very important for both sides as they looked at opening their account to take the edge.
India troubled the Australian defenders on a couple of occasions but were unable to net a goal and at halftime, the scoreboard remained the same.
However, in the third quarter it was finally India who broke the shackles and scored the goal which left the ‘Kookaburras’ stunned. In the 34th minute, forward S.V. Sunil did not make any mistake in netting from a beautiful pass from Akashdeep Singh.
The goal saw India raise their game and become more aggressive in their attack. They not only ensured good possession but kept the pressure on their opponent’s defence.
At the end of the third quarter it was India leading the match with only 15 minutes to go.
The last quarter saw Indian defenders skilfully tackling the opponents whenever the Kookaburras attacked the D of India. With the quarter yet again being goalless, India retained the lead to ensure victory.
The two sides play the final match of the series Sunday.