India Draw 2-2 With Great Britain in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Opener

  • India drew 2-2 with Great Britain in their opening match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

  • Akashdeep Singh (19th minute) and Mandeep Singh (48th minute) scored field goals to give India the lead twice.

  • India next take on New Zealand on 30 April, Sunday at 1.30 pm.

First game of the hockey season and India squandered their lead twice as Great Britain rallied to earn a 2-2 draw in the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament in Malaysia on Saturday.

Akashdeep Singh (19th minute) and Mandeep Singh (48th minute) scored field goals to give India the lead twice during the match, but only to see the Britons hit back through Tom Carson (25th) and Alan Forsyth (52nd).

(Photo: Hockey India)

After a two-hour delay in the schedule due to heavy rain and lightening, Great Britain launched the first raid in the ninth minute and Henry Weir took a reverse shot at the goal from top of the circle, only to see goalkeeper PR Sreejesh pad the ball away.

India were awarded their first penalty corner when Pradeep Mor's diagonal ball landed on a defender's foot in the circle.

The penalty corner shot could not be taken as the push was not stopped, but Manpreet Singh, India’s captain for the match, picked up the ball on the 25-metre line and sent a firm drive into the circle.

Manpreet's shot was padded by the British goalkeeper and the rebound went straight to Akashdeep, who capitalised on the chance by beating the custodian with his flick that put India in the lead in the 19th minute.

Manpreet Singh led India in their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup opener against Great Britain. (Photo: Hockey India)

The British team mounted an attack in the next minute, forcing India to pack the circle to thwart any danger. Great Britain’s Tom Carson came from behind to equalise the scoreline.

Dribbling parallel to the goal-line from the right flank, Ollie Willars sent a pass to Carlson, who made the most of his fine positioning by shooting into the goal.

India then reclaimed the lead in the 48th minute when SV Sunil relayed a narrow-angle pass from Manpreet on the left flank for Mandeep Singh, who deflected the ball past goalkeeper Gibson.

India's lead was short-lived as Britain made the most of their 52nd minute attack even in a crowded circle.

The Indian defenders were not able to clear the ball, which was switched around four Britons before Alan Forsyth's flick beat Indian custodian Sreejesh.

India next take on New Zealand on Sunday at 1.30 pm.

(With inputs from PTI.)