Young striker Affan Yousuf scored a brace to guide Indian men’s hockey team to a 3-2 win over world champions Australia in the opening match of the two-game series, here on Tuesday.
While Yousuf scored two field goals (19th minute) in quick succession, dragflicker VR Raghunath netted the winner for India in the 44th minute. Australia’s scored through Matthew Willis (36th) and Trent Mitton (43rd).
- Affan scored two field goals in quick succession (19th minute)
- VR Raghunath scored the winner for India after converting a penalty corner
- Matthew Willis and Trent Mitton scored for Australia
The Indians were quick to get off the blocks and controlled the proceedings early on.
But despite several circle penetrations, both the teams failed to break the deadlock in the first quarter.
Yousuf opened the scoring for India in the 19th minute with a wonderfully constructed field goal and then doubled his tally with another field strike in the very next move as India went into half-time firmly in control with a two goal cushion.
The second half witnessed a completely different picture as India looked happy to sit back, absorb the pressure and take Australia on the counter.
The hosts, on the other hand, were incisive and precise, and drew themselves level via goals from Willis (36th) and Mitton (43rd).
India, however, regained their lead a minute later from a penalty corner, which was dully converted by Raghunath.
In the final quarter India adopted a cautious approach and managed to hold on to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
The second match of the series will be played on Wednesday.