Perth International Hockey Festival: Kookaburras come from behind to defeat India 2-1

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The Kookaburras have come from behind for a second consecutive win against India in a two point sweep of game two in the Perth International Hockey Festival, trumping India 4-2.

In a scorching 38 degrees at Perth’s Curtin University, the Kookaburras started where they left off yesterday, with Jeremy Hayward finding a goal early, leaving India’s Krishan Pathak shell-shocked in defence.

Both squads had a shake up from night one, and the Aussies were taking a little more time to find their groove in attack, with a couple of missed opportunities from penalty corners.

Jugraj Singh wasn’t wasting any time and got one back straight away for India, a welcome change from their first and only score coming in the fourth quarter on day one, leaving it one all at quarter time.

Australia flooded the circle, outnumbering India as they upped the pressure, but their opposition managed repeated turn overs leaving the Kookaburras wanting.

The game slowed in momentum but in the final minute, Harmanpreet Singh slotted a clean score to head into the main break with a 2-1 lead.

The Aussies needed to dig deep, and Hayward came out firing, he slammed an equaliser into the back of the net for a second goal for himself and the Kookaburras, from the exact spot as his first, to the frustration of India.

The Aussies continued to put the pressure on but couldn’t find an opening until Matt Dawson, on his 200th Kookaburras appearance, threaded the needle for Jacob Anderson to convert their third goal.

Nathan Ephraums shocked the field assisted by Jacob Whetten, who set up a quick shot for him, flinging it straight through the air to put them up 4-2 at the final break.

The final quarter was an arm wrestle of sorts, the intense heat appearing to wear heavy on the players. India worked hard defensively, managing to limit the Aussies I attack and force turnovers.

India’s ball movement meant the Kookaburras scrambled to keep their defence strong but in the end India couldn’t capitalise and it was another win for the Aussies.

Matt Dawson spoke fondly of his 200t Kookaburras cap post game.

“I think the third quarter showed our dominance,” Dawson said.

“It’s good to win close games, they’re the number four team for a reason and we still have three more games to go against them.

“ My sisters and my parents made it here for my debut also against India, now my family is here from the East Coast and my wife, it’s full circle.”

Originally published as Perth International Hockey Festival: Kookaburras come from behind to defeat India 2-1

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