A late goal by drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh in the 56th minute helped India overcome a 0-1 deficit to draw 1-1 against Australia 'A' in a well-contested match here on Monday. Earlier in the friendly tourney, India had registered a 2-0 win over Western Australia Thundersticks before beating Australia 'A' 3-0.
India made two good saves in the initial minutes of the opening quarter while defending back-to-back penalty corners awarded to Australia 'A', which somewhat made up for an average start by the visitors as the hosts put them under pressure right from the start.
While the first quarter ended in a stalemate, the visitors suffered a setback in the 21st minute when Kiran Arunasalam struck a fine field goal for Australia 'A'. However, not being able to convert the chances created in the striking circle and missing out on three penalty corners dented India's fightback.
India's defence, on the other hand, was able to contain the home team from taking a further lead as it denied Australia 'A' from converting two penalty corners awarded to them in the second and third quarter, respectively.
India restored parity in the 56th minute when Harmanpreet Singh sounded the board with a well-timed, powerful drag-flick. Just a minute earlier, his attempt at goal was saved nicely by an Australian defender.
On Wednesday, India will take on the Australian national side in what promises to be yet another exciting game. However, Read said that if India wished to emerge on top, they will need to start much better and keep the pressure on their opponents through the four quarters.