Six Nations Invitational Hockey Tournament: India 2-1 Ireland - Full Match Report
A day that saw Indian men’s hockey team climb to the fifth spot in the latest FIH international rankings brought with it another welcome occurrence – India’s first win of the Six Nations Invitational Hockey Tournament at Valencia via a 2-1 result over Ireland in their second outing in as many days.
Today's match had gotten underway with the Irish looking to intimidate right from the starting whistle. In as early as the 4th minute, Kyle Good found the breakthrough for Ireland to sound the alarm bells forecasting another disappointing outcome like the one which happened to India on the previous day against Germany.
The first quarter proved to be a complete display of commanding hockey by the Irishmen. As play resumed, the Indians upped the ante and earned their first penalty corner within first minutes of second quarter action.
It was Punjab forward Talwinder Singh to equalise when he pounced on the rebound off India’s first penalty corner and drove it past the keeper to make it 1-1 in the 20th minute. Almost immediately, the domination switched sides to bring the Indians forward in numbers pushing to gain the lead for the first time in this championship. Some fast paced action later, halftime was upon us and the players headed for the dugout with nothing to separate them.
Two minutes after the second half began, it was none other than skipper Sardar Singh who deflected the ball in from a brilliant Vokkaliga Raghunath-pass. As the Indians placed themselves in the drivers’ seat with a 2-1 scoreline in their favour, there were no further goals to be seen from either side till the final hooter was blown signalling the end of India’s second fixture at the Spanish venue of Valencia.