Hockey: Great Britain defeat India 3-1 in FIH Pro League

London, June 2 (UNI) In an electrifying FIH Pro League 2023-24 clash, the Indian men’s hockey team faced a spirited Great Britain, succumbing to a 3-1 defeat on Sunday.

Great Britain, the world’s fourth-ranked team, seized the initiative early with a pair of stunning goals by Nicholas Bandurak (2’, 11’), followed by a decisive strike from Will Calnan (47’). India’s response came through a brilliant effort by Abhishek (35’), but it was not enough to turn the tide.

Despite the setback, India holds firm in third place on the FIH Pro League points table, just behind the Netherlands and Argentina. The Tokyo Olympics bronze medalists have claimed five victories in their 14 matches this season, showcasing their resilience and skill.

The match kicked off with Great Britain on the front foot, launching a swift counterattack that saw Bandurak find the net in just the second minute. He doubled the lead in the 11th minute, putting the home side in a commanding position.

India’s first real chance to score came with a penalty corner, but captain Harmanpreet Singh’s drag-flick narrowly missed its target, leaving the team trailing as they headed into the half-time break.

Determined to stage a comeback, India upped the ante in the second half. Abhishek ignited hope with a spectacular reverse-hit goal in the 35th minute, injecting energy and determination into the Indian side. Moments later, he earned another penalty corner, but once again, Harmanpreet’s effort was thwarted by the British defense.

As the final quarter unfolded, Great Britain remained composed under pressure. Will Calnan’s goal in the 47th minute restored their two-goal lead, a blow from which India couldn’t recover. A video referral by India to challenge the goal was unsuccessful, cementing the 3-1 result in favor of Great Britain.

Looking ahead, India is set to face world champions Germany in their next FIH Pro League fixture on Saturday. The previous encounter between these two powerhouses ended in a dominant 3-0 victory for India, setting the stage for an exciting rematch.

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