Breda: India won their second match of the event by beating Argentina by 2 – 1. Pakistan, and especially the goalkeeper, Imran Butt, played brilliantly but failed to take their chances as they lost to Australia by 2-1. The hosts secured their first win of the event by beating Belgium 4-0.
Indian captain and hockey star, Sardar Singh played his 300th international match for his country today and led strongly from the front. Ramandeep Singh scoring his second goal of the tournament opened to scoring for India with a low driven penalty corner. The youngest player of the tournament, Dilpreet Singh then got involved in an excellent build-up to India’s second goal when Mandeep Singh tapped the ball into the goal. Argentina won five penalty corners but the number one penalty corner specialist, Gonzalo Piellat could only convert one of them in the 30th minute. The scores remained unchanged till the end as India celebrated their second victory which takes them to the top of the table.
Speaking after the match, Sardar Singh said: “It is a great honor for me to have played 300 matches for my country. In the team meeting, the players said that they would win for me, and they did it. I have to thank my teammates for that.” (Source: FIH – Press release)
The last match of day 2 saw world number 13, Pakistan, taking on the world number 1, Australia. Ajaz Ahmed gave Pakistan the lead halfway through the first quarter. However, Australia pressed hard and opened a rampage on the Pakistani goal. Keeper, Imran Butt displayed a spectacular performance as he faced 18 Australian shots into the goal. However, deep into the first quarter Trent Mitton leveled things up for the Kookaburras. The scoreline remained unchanged through to the third quarter with chances falling for both teams. Pakistan missed a great opportunity to take the lead with only the keeper to beat, but the attacker’s shot drifted wide from the goal. Blake Govers had the final say in the match as he scored in the 56th minute and shattered Pakistani hopes for their first points of the event.
In the second match of the day the host nations, Netherlands thrashed Belgium by 4 – 0.
Tomorrow will be a well-deserved rest day for the teams. The following day will see Argentina play against Belgium, followed by the Netherlands against Pakistan, as India and Australia continue their rest on Matchday 3.