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Great Britain Women Stage Comeback Against India; GB Men Edge Out India in Narrow Victory

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Lausanne, Switzerland: Four closely contested matches, which included two shootouts, wrapped up the weekend of FIH Hockey Pro League action in London as all four encounters went down to the wire. Great Britain came from behind to get the better of India’s women while there was also just one goal in it as the GB men triumphed over India.

The Hockeyroos played to a draw with Germany before beating them in a shootout while the result was reversed in the men’s match between the same opposition.

(Women’s) Germany 2 – 2 Australia (SO: 3 – 4)

Australia recovered from two goals to salvage a 2-2 draw with Germany, sharing the points and then clinching a bonus point with a 4-3 win in the shootout. They held the slightest advantage in a goalless first half as both teams earned three penalty corners and had a couple of good opportunities from general play.

Germany assumed full control in the third quarter, pressing higher and forcing errors from the Hockeyroos. Hanna Granitzki gave the Germans the lead with a sharp deflection from open play, and Nike Lorenz added a penalty corner variation. The Australians staged an impressive fightback though, Tatum Stewart’s 45th-minute penalty stroke giving them some momentum, and Jane Claxton equalising from open play with nine minutes remaining. Both teams had opportunities to clinch the win, but the match went to a shootout where Australia prevailed.

The player of the match went to Australia’s Claire Colwill who said: “The first half wasn’t how we wanted to start, but after half time we came together and really worked on what we could control and the result fell our way… We’re certainly building each day.”

(Women’s) Great Britain 3 – 2 India

Great Britain thrilled the home fans by also coming from behind to beat India 3-2 in a gripping encounter. India’s defence was slow to track back in the third minute and Charlotte Watson punished them with a well-worked team goal. The Indians recovered well to dominate the rest of the half, however. Lalremsiami equalised with a high-quality deflection at the left post, and Navneet Kaur chalked up her 50th goal for India with the faintest of deflections.

Jess Buchanan made a massive save for GB in the opening seconds of the third quarter, and her team drew momentum from that to boss the rest of the match. India defended resolutely, but Grace Balsdon eventually levelled the scores from a drag flick with four minutes to play. A second Balsdon drag flick edged GB ahead and they staved off a late surge from India to hold on for the win. With that, India’s FIH Hockey Pro League campaign came to an end but, having finished above the USA, they are assured of their place in the next edition.

Grace Balsdon received the player of the match for Great Britain and spoke about the energising effect of home support: “When you get that energy, that’s the fight and the desire that we can produce. I think for us it’s finding over these next few games that consistency of that desire to win the ball higher up and get those opportunities.”

(Men’s) Great Britain 3 – 2 India

Hosts Great Britain posted a gritty 3-2 win over India in an excellent game of hockey. Phil Roper gave GB the perfect start with a well-struck field goal in the opening minute. Sukhjeet Singh then hit back for India with a sliding deflection in the 19th minute, and PR Sreejesh kept things level by feathering a GB penalty flick wide.

India drew first blood in the second half via a Harmanpreet Singh penalty stroke before Jack Waller responded with an absolute scorcher for GB just a minute later. The home side then took the lead with just 10 minutes remaining, Alan Forsyth finishing sharply after India were dispossessed in their left corner. Oliver Payne made an excellent save to keep them ahead a minute later. With time slipping away, India sacrificed their goalkeeper to chase a result. They created some late opportunities, but couldn’t find an equaliser as the clock ran down on their FIH Hockey Pro League campaign.

Jack Waller from Great Britain was named as the player of the match and said: “We’re delighted with the three points. Our goal is to win the Pro League so every point matters. Not the perfect game but going back-to-back is always difficult so we’re pleased to get the win.”

(Men’s) Australia 2 – 2 Germany (SO: 4 – 5)

German captain Mats Grambusch celebrated his 200th cap in a physical, high-quality 2-2 draw to share the points with Australia before the Germans clinched a bonus point with a 5-4 shootout win. Australia looked the sharper team in the first half and Tom Craig’s 12th-minute tap-in gave them a hard-earned lead. Germany improved in the second period, but they struggled in the final third of the pitch and narrowly missed the goals as the hooter sounded for half-time.

The Germans started the second half well though with Johannes Große equalising with a tap-in from open play and Gonzalo Peillat’s drag flick then putting them ahead in the 35th minute. The Kookaburras fought back for Tim Brand to level the scores with a sensational penalty corner deflection in the 44th minute. The Aussies threatened regularly in the final quarter, and Germany had a couple of late attacks as the clock ran down, but the match ended with the scores level before Germany took the shootout.

The player of the match was awarded to Germany’s Tom Grambusch who said: “It was indeed really close. I think we had a really good start, in the first minute we played quite good, but then Australia dominated the first half. In the end it was an open match.”

Top Scorer Armband

To celebrate the talented goal-scorers throughout the season the FIH has introduced the Top Scorer Armband, which is being worn by the leading goal-scorers in the men’s and women’s competitions in the current season, as a visual mark for the fans, and for the players to wear proudly, match after match.

Current Top Scorers:

Women – Yibbi Jansen (NED) (15 goals)

Men – Blake Govers (AUS) / Jip Janssen (NED) / Harmanpreet Singh (IND) (12 goals)

To see the current standings in the FIH Hockey Pro League, click here.

FIH Hockey Pro League – 9 June 2024

Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London (UK)

WOMEN

Result: Match 59 (W)

Germany 2 – 2 Australia (SO: 3 – 4)

Player of the match: Claire Colwill (AUS)

Umpires: Laurine Delforge (BEL), Cookie Tan (SGP), Ahmed Elsayed (EGY-video)

Result: Match 60 (W)

Great Britain 3 – 2 India

Player of the match: Grace Balsdon (GBR)

Umpires: Ivona Makar (CRO), Magali Sergeant (BEL), Sébastien Michielsen (BEL-video)

MEN

Result: Match 59 (M)

Great Britain 3 – 2 India

Player of the match: Jack Waller (GBR)

Umpires: Michiel Otten (NED), Ahmed Elsayed (EGY), Laurine Delforge (BEL-video)

Result: Match 60 (M)

Australia 2 – 2 Germany (SO: 4 – 5)

Player of the match: Tom Grambusch (GER)

Umpires: Martin Madden (SCO), Coen Van Bunge (NED), Ivona Makar (CRO-video)

-FIH Press release

 

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