Sunday, December 3, 2023

Commonwealth Games Hockey: England men fight back in 4-4 thriller with India

Birmingham — England played like a team on a last-minute deadline on the university pitches here. Forget happy hour, this was a frenzied 20-minute race to secure a result. From 3-0 and 4-1 down they contrived to overturn a devastating opening half from India, make use of three yellow cards and ball carry their way to a 4-4 draw in front of a partisan, baying crowd.

As if their task was hard enough against a counter-attacking India side, England men lost two of their chief lieutenants ahead of their third Commonwealth Games pool match, captain Zach Wallace taken ill and defender Brendan Creed ruled out of the tournament with a foot injury. 

England missed Wallace’s creativity and Creed’s presence at the back as India made hay in an opening 30 minutes of sublime finishing in a crucial encounter at the top of pool. Yes, the runners-up are likely to face the all-Commonwealth conquering Australians in the last four.

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