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Indian men beat South Africa 3-2 to enter CWG hockey final | Commonwealth Games 2022 News

BIRMINGHAM: Olympic bronze medallist India eked out a hard-fought 3-2 win over South Africa to qualify for the men’s hockey final of the Commonwealth Games on Saturday.
Abhishek (twentieth minute), Mandeep Singh (twenty eighth) and Jugraj Singh (58th) scored for India, whereas South Africa’s targets got here from the sticks of Ryan Julius (thirty third) and Mustapha Cassiem (59th).
Going by kind and rankings, it was anticipated to be a cakewalk for India nevertheless it did not end up that approach, courtesy South Africa custodian Gowan Jones, who dished out a superlative efficiency underneath the bar.
Had it not been for Jones’ good show, the score-line might have been a lot greater in favour of the Indians.
The Indians had been on the offensive from the phrase go and dominated possession for almost all of the primary two quarters.
India had loads of circle penetrations and probabilities within the first quarter however targets eluded them with Jones standing like a rock in entrance of the purpose.
He denied India’s star drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh from changing as many as 4 penalty corners within the first half to preserve his aspect within the sport.
Jones’ anticipation and reflexes had been a deal with to watch as he pulled off save after save.
Not solely penalty corners, Jones was additionally stable in entrance of the purpose from open play as he stored out Shamsher Singh’s attempt from shut vary within the tenth minute after he was set by Akashdeep Singh.
Seconds later Jones pulled off one other gorgeous reflex save to deny Akashdeep.
South Africa appeared to have gotten some rhythm within the second quarter and secured three penalty corners in fast succession however India’s reserve goalie Krishan Bahadur Pathak was upto the duty.
The impasse lastly broke within the twentieth minute when Abhishek scored with a smashing reverse hit from high of the circle to lastly beat Jones.
Minutes later, Jones as soon as once more got here to his aspect’s rescue, blocking Amit Rohidas’ fierce shot after which stopping Akashdeep’s reverse shot.
But the Indian workforce doubled its lead within the twenty eighth minute by Mandeep, who scored a positive purpose after being fed by Gurjant Singh.
India secured one other penalty nook two minutes after the change of ends however wasted it.
South Africa appeared extra decided after the change of ends and lowered the margin three minutes after restart by Julius who scored off a rebound from a penalty nook.
Jones was in high kind as he pulled off one other positive save off Abhishek within the thirty eighth minute.
South Africa weren’t to be slowed down as they penetrated the Indian circle every now and then and secured some penalty corners however failed to breach the defence.
In the forty first minute, Jones made one other good save to preserve out Jarmanpreet Singh’s effort from India’s sixth set piece.
In the final quarter, India tried to play the possession sport and focussed on defending as South Africa pressed onerous.
India’s ploy labored completely as they managed to maintain on to South Africa’s ahead press.
With 4 minutes to go, South withdrew Jones and India utilised the possibility to lengthen their lead with Jugraj slamming house from a penalty nook.
The Africans threatened India when Cassiem scored with a reverse hit to make it 3-2.
The Indians, nonetheless, managed to maintain on to their lead to seal a final berth after the 2014 version, the place they got here second finest to Australia.
India will play the winner of the second semi-final between Australia and England within the final on Sunday.