Hero Hockey World League Final
India dished out a pathetic performance to go down 0-2 to higher-ranked England and start their campaign on a losing note at the Hero Hockey World League Final, in New Delhi on Friday.
The Indians looked horribly out of sorts as England rode on two goals from Adam Dixon (28th, 45th minute) to pocket full three points from their opening Pool A encounter at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.
Chief coach Terry Walsh could not have imagined such a horrible performance from his wards in his first international match with the Indian team.
From the onset, the Indians looked rusty and seemed to run out of ideas when the ball was in their possession.
India’s attacks lacked teeth and they hardly troubled the England goal barring the two penalty corners they earned in the opening half.
England, on the other hand, were slow to get off the blocks but gained control of the proceedings and looked threatening as the match progressed. They looked far more promising in their moves.
It took India 14 minutes to get their first scoring chance when they earned two back-to-back penalty corners but dragflick exponents VR Raghunath and Rupinderpal Singh failed to cash in on the opportunities.
India were lucky to not concede the lead in the 17th minute when an England attack came off the post.
After the initial hiccups, England started to find their footing in the match and earned three penalty corners in quick succession.
While Ashley Jackson shot wide from the first set piece, India custodian P R Sreejesh denied England the second penalty corner with his quick reflexes.
But soon after, England earned another penalty corner when Kothajit Singh intentionally brought down David Condon just outside the India circle and Adam Dixon scored with a variation to give his side the lead at the break.