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India go down to Pakistan 2-1 in first hockey match

The hosts, playing without a number of established players, lacked rhythm against the experienced Pakistanis in a fast-paced encounter.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 21:17 IST

A new look Indian team failed to arrest their sliding fortunes as they went down 1-2 to their arch rivals Pakistan in the first Test of the six-match series at Chandigarh on Friday.

The hosts, playing without the services of a number of established players, never really found any rhythm against the experienced Pakistanis who stuck a goal in each session in a fast-paced encounter.

Tariq Aziz drew first blood for the visitors in the 15th minute while veteran Shakeel Abbasi drove a penalty corner rebound home in the 57th minute to completely push the home team on the backfoot.

The Indians narrowed the margin through the hardworking Tushar Khandekar six minutes before the hooter and had themselves to blame for not being able to find the equaliser as they frittered away the two chances that came their way in the dying minutes of the contest.

The Pakistanis clearly looked the superior team as they repeatedly pierced through the Indian defence and could have won by a bigger margin had they made use of the several penalty corners they got.

India, led by Ignace Tirkey for the first time in the absence of regular captain Dilip Tirkey, were also equally guilty of squandering the penalty corners though the young team displayed flashes of brilliance with drag-flicker Sandeep Singh and Arjun Halappa keeping the Pakistani defence busy.

The second Test will be played at the same venue on Saturday while the last match of the India leg will be held in Jalandhar on Monday.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 20:30 IST