New Delhi, April 11: Despite veteran goalkeeper PR Sreejesh's stunning display, India went down fighting 1-2 to Australia for their third successive defeat in the five-match hockey series down under in Perth on Wednesday. 

Jugraj Singh (41’) gave India the lead but two goals in the space of five minutes by  Jeremy Hayward (44’, 49’) dashed visitors' hope of victory.

The Men In Blue who had lost  first two matches 1-5 , and 2-4 put up much better show and kept the rival defenders on tenterhooks for the first time in the series.

On top of it Sreejesh came out with some extraordinary performance in the last quarter but he could not stop the hosts from clinching the series.

This was for the first time in the series that the hosts had to wait for 44 minutes to score their first goal and that too an equaliser. 

Putting behind two defeats behind them, India started the game asserting their dominance through possession, whereas Australia adopted a counter-attacking approach.

This strategy paid off for the hosts as they earned the first penalty corner of the match. Despite this opportunity, Sreejesh exhibited exceptional reflexes, thwarting the attempt and keeping the score level.
As the match progressed, the hosts continued to press forward, earning three consecutive penalty corners in the 10th minute. However, Sreejesh's brilliance between the posts denied the hosts yet again, frustrating their efforts to take the lead.

India countred the sustain pressure with  their attacking prowess with swift passing and strategic penetrations into the rival defense, ultimately winning a penalty corner which , they couldn't capitalize on it. 
The hosts opened the second quarter by launching relentless attacks but the resilient defense, bolstered by Sreejesh's stalwart performance, thwarted every attempt, preventing them from seizing the lead. 

India intensified their offensive efforts, consistently penetrating the rival circle and posing a threat to their goal. Despite coming agonizingly close to scoring, neither team managed to capitalize on their opportunities, resulting in a goalless conclusion to the second quarter.

As the third quarter opened Australia earned an initial penalty corner, yet they faltered to convert it into a goal. Contrarily, India seized the opportunity to break the stalemate, with Jugraj Singh (41’) unleashing a potent shot from a penalty corner, propelling the visitors into the lead. 

However, India's advantage was short-lived as Australia was granted a penalty stroke, skilfully converted by Jeremy Hayward (44’), swiftly restoring parity for the hosts as the penultimate quarter ended with score levelled at 1-1.

Australia won back-to-back penalty corners early in the fourth and final quarter and this time they were finally able to convert one as Jeremy Hayward (49’) scored again through a powerful shot to put the hosts in lead. 

With score line in their favour, Australia were able to put India under pressure by relentlessly pressing them and that eventually helped them in stopping the  visitors from finding the equaliser as they won the closely-fought match 2-1.
India will take on Australia in their fourth game of the tour on 12 April  .


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