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Server Time: 2019-10-20 00:30:19

Australia defeated India 4-3 in their opening match of the 22nd Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh.

Australia were clearly the better side although playing with five players making their debut.

"We played relatively well given the fact that five players were making their debut and it is a first as a coach for me," said Australian coach Ric Charlesworth.

"But India were gifted two penalty corners and this is why we need video referrals and I am all for it.

"Playing Pakistan tomorrow will not be easy as they have the best side here, but Malaysians have their full side if I may add.

"But we lost Tim Bates through injury and he will no longer take part in the tournament."

For India coach Michael Nobbs, the fact that he had 10 players who could feature in the Junior World Cup gave him hope that Indian hockey is on the right track.

"We lost the match in the first five minutes of the second half and this all boils down to inexperience," said Nobbs.

"It was a commendable performance nonetheless and its a good learning curve for the youngsters.

Australia were awarded their first penalty corner in the 19th minute but Timothy Deavin failed to get his drag flick off the ground.

Though Australia created a few chances, the agile Indian keeper PR Sreejesh kept them at bay with fantastic saves.

Sreejesh was finally beaten in the 24th minute as he padded away a Deavin penalty corner attempt only for the lurking Matt Ghodes to hammer the rebound into the roof of the net to give Australia a well deserved lead.

Australia held on to their lead till the halftime hooter as India played aimlessly for the rest of the first half.

The Aussies got off to a good start in the second half as a penalty corner in the 38th minute was finished off by Glenn Simpson.

A minute later it was 3-0 for Australia as Matt Ghodes deflected in a hot at the far post and India were stunned.

Off their next attack India were awarded a penalty corner and Rupinderpal Singh made no mistake to reduce the deficit in the 40th minute to 3-1.

Mandeep Singh could have reduce the deficit in the 50th minute but skied the ball infront of goal.

But India were not to be denied as Malak Singh scored the second in the very next minute, his shot sailing in under the pad of Aussie keeper George Bazely from an acute angle.

Australia did not take long to restore their two goal advantage but were a shade lucky.

Robert Hammond played a penalty corner push to Trent Mitton whose deft touch beat Sreejesh.

Rupinderpal on the goal line could have stopped the ball but opted to play a cricket stroke which missed the ball nd Australia were 4-2 up in the 53rd minute.

Though Rupinderpal scored in the 68th minute, it was too late for India to salvage anything from the match.