Indian men blank Poland 3-0 in Hockey World League

  • PTI, Antwerp, Belgium
  • Updated: Jun 24, 2015 02:15 IST

India produced a much-improved show in comparison to their opening match as they post a 3-0 victory over Poland to notch up their second consecutive win in the Hockey World League Semifinals in Antwerp, Belgium on Tuesday.

The Walmiki brothers, Yuvraj (23rd minute) and Devinder (52nd), got their names on the scoresheet with flash goals and captain Sardar Singh (41st) sounded the boards with a firm reverse drive to secure India's win at the KHC Dragons Stadium.

India had launched their campaign with a 3-2 victory over France on the opening day.

The cold and breezy conditions seemed to be to Poland's liking and they did well to frustrate the Indian strikers in the first session, not allowing them a decent look at the goal.

Crowding their defence, the Polish players were able to frustrate the Indian strikers for long, and in turn banked on long-passes from their territory to build up some brisk counters. But in the end, the Indians found ways to break down the defence to pump in three goals.

It was Poland who earned the first penalty corner in the 20th minute, but captain Pawel Bratkowski's rising drag-flick was palmed away by goalkeeper PR Sreejesh.

Yuvraj opened the scoring for India as he capitalised on a lucky break in the 23rd minute, when a long diagonal ball deflected towards him off a defender's stick and he made no mistake in flicking it past the goalkeeper.

India failed to impress with their three penalty corners in the absence of Rupinder Singh, who is recuperating from an injury suffered in the warm-up matches.

Sardar increased the lead in the 41st minute with a stinging reverse drive from the top of the scoring circle into the left corner of the goal.

Devinder Walmiki then scored his second goal in successive matches in his debut tournament by deflecting in a diagonal ball from Chinglensana Singh in the 52nd minute.

Earlier, in a Pool B fixture, Ireland rallied from a two-goal deficit in the first quarter to secure a 2-2 draw against Great Britain.

Ireland, who narrowly missed qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games, showed a lot of resolve in earning a point in their first outing of this World League Semifinals.

Britain were two goals ahead by the eighth minute of play with field strikes from captain Barry Middleton (5th minute) and Iain Lewers (8th) before the Irish hit back.

Kyle Good's 19th-minute strike in open play was followed by John Jackson getting the equaliser in the sixth minute of the second session.

Britain have now drawn both their matches, having earlier held Belgium 2-2 on the opening day.

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