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India prove penalty corner prowess against Scotland

The art of clinical finishing by India’s penalty corner experts was a key feature in a 6-2 win over Team Scotland in Pool A of the Commonwealth Games men’s hockey competition at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre on Saturday, reports Hockey Scotland.

Two penalty corner goals each for Raghunath Ramachandra and Rupinder Singh, added to field goals from Gurbaj Singh and Gurwinder Chandi, ensured a comfortable victory that results in India sitting top of pool A.

Remarkably, the stats showed that India had only two more shots on goal than Scotland, indicating their superior ability to convert crucial chances when it matters.Nevertheless, Kenny Bain and Nick Parkes replied late on with two goals for the home side, ensuring that the Scots sit above bottom place Wales on goal difference after the Welsh rear-guard felt the full force of a 7-1 defeat to world champions Australia earlier on in the session.  

For full results see http://results.glasgow2014.com/sports/ho/hockey.html

The Celtic nations will meet in a crunch match on Monday morning (11am), with a place in the 7th/8th classification match the likely outcome.

Scotland coach Derek Forsyth sai:, “I was proud of the players. India have players who are full-time and have recently competed at the World Cup. We played well in spells and we just need to take our chances. On another day, we take our chances and the score looks different.

“Wales have played well and shown good structure in the games so far. It’ll be a tough match but we’ll be prepared and ready.

”Scotland midfielder and goalscorer Nick Parkes added: “The Indian squad relaxed a bit in the end and gave us the chances to put some goals in and give something to the crowd. I think we competed really well during the first half, but they are a much stronger team as they showed at the last World Cup.

“We are a bit frustrated but we will make sure we play well against Wales and later against Australia to make something good out of it.”

Scotland found themselves behind after only six minutes when Gurbaj Singh was allowed to create space for himself on the right hand of the scoring circle, the attacker launching a fierce drive past Scotland goalkeeper Jamie Cachia to make it 1-0.

A dangerous cross from Alan Forsyth from the right touchline almost provided Gareth Hall with an opportunity to seek an equaliser shortly afterwards, but India goalkeeper Sreejesh Raveendran was alive to clear the danger.A low tempo exchange ensued for a period before India were awarded a penalty corner in the 23rd minute.

Alas, for the home side, the full force of Raghunath Ramachandra’s unstoppable drag-flick was too much for Cachia and his defence, the ball rattled into the goal to double the advantage for India.

Dan Coultas was unfortunate not to pull a goal back just before half-time, his efficiently struck drag-flick low to the left hand corner being beaten away to safety by Raveendran.

Scotland were left to rue the missed chance as India extended their lead two minutes into the second half. This time, Rupinder Singh stepped forward to send a low strike past Cachia to make it 3-0.Three minutes later, the game was done and dusted when Gurwinder Chandi was able to neatly deflect a cross from the touchline into the far corner of the net for a fourth goal.

In the 45th minute, another penalty corner conceded by the Scots allowed Ramachandra to demonstrate his prowess with another powerful drag-flick that nestled in the left hand corner to increase the score to 5-0.Shortly after, Rupinder Singh slammed the ball off the underside of the bar from another penalty corner to make it 6-0.

The Scottish cause remained resolute though and striker Kenny Bain got his side’s first goal of the competition with a brilliantly taken reverse stick strike from just inside the circle.Nick Parkes ensured another consolation strike for Scotland right on the stroke of full-time, deflecting Coultas’ penalty corner to leave the final scoreline 6-2.

Team Scotland: Jamie Cachia, Gareth Hall, David Forsyth, Nick Parkes, Michael Bremner, Dan Coultas, Alan Forysth, Chris Grassick (c), Ian Moodie, Gordon McIntyre, Ross Stott, Chris Nelson, Kenny Bain, William Marshall, Iain Scholefield, Niall Stott.

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