Adelaide: A battling India scored a last-minute goal to stun world number one Australia 4-3 in the third hockey test to earn their first win in 13 years here on Wednesday.
It was a rare win for India against Australia who had beaten them 7-0 in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games final earlier in the year.
The famous win also kept the five-game series alive with Australia leading 2-1. India had lost 4-5 and 4-7 in the first two Tests.
The fourth game will be played here on Saturday and the last on Sunday.
Skipper Harmanpreet Singh (12th minute), Abhishek (47th), Shamsher Singh (57th) and Akashdeep Singh (60th) scored for India.
Australia’s goals came off the sticks of Jack Welch (25th), skipper Aran Zalewski (32nd) and Nathan Ephraums (59th).
Both teams started patiently, trying to keep their defenses intact as they looked for counter-attacks.
Australia had the first chance in the seventh minute. It was a fight for India’s goal, but Krishan Bahadur Pathak denied the hosts with a desperate keeper.
It was India who took the lead in the 12th minute from a penalty corner through captain Harmanpreet, who went for placement rather than brute force. He placed the ball perfectly to the right of Australian goalkeeper Johan Durst.
Young Sukhjeet Singh then got a brilliant goal off the post after creating the chance with fine 3D skills.
In the 20th minute, experienced India keeper PR Sreejesh denied Australia for being alert at the near post to keep out a reverse hit.
Minutes later, Sreejesh was again the center of attention when he made a triple save from a penalty corner before Surender Kumar kept the ball out.
Australia leveled in the 25th minute when Welch scored his third goal of the series, a look into Tim Howard’s searching ball after an alert Sreejesh thwarted Jerry Hayward’s drag from a penalty corner.
The home side kept pressing hard after the half change and earned back-to-back penalty corners two minutes after the restart. The second attempt was deflected by skipper Zalewski from Hayward’s indirect attempt to take the lead.
India earned an early penalty corner in the fourth and final quarter and Abhishek found the back of the Australian net and fired from close range into Harmanpreet’s bicycle kick.
India secured a penalty corner in the 52nd minute, but failed to convert it.
Rajkumar Pal then came close to scoring, but his shot from the top of the circle went wide.
India pressed the Australian defense in the last quarter to secure another penalty corner and Shamser was in the right place at the right time to tap in from close range after Jugraj’s first try was saved by the opposing goalkeeper.
It was an end-to-end thing in the last few minutes of the game, as Australia soon earned a penalty corner, but Sreejesh was a wall to the Indian goal.
A minute after the final horn, Australia secured two consecutive penalty corners, but failed to break through the Indian defence.
But the match was far from over as 54 seconds from the end, Akashdeep scored after being fed by a selfless Mandeep Singh to give India a famous win.
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