Jan 22, 2012

India draw final test, win series

Three second half goals helped India to draw the final test match against South Africa 3-3 and winning the five match test series 3-1.

Yuvraj Walmiki in action
The visitors were all ever Indian the first half and the attacking game of South Africa paid dividend in the 26th minute when Ricky Ross took advantage of Rupinder Pal Singh's defensive mistake to score the first goal. Rupinder Pal Singh gifted the ball to Julian Hykes in the right flank who passed the ball to Ricky Ross who put the ball behind the line.

Ian Haley took advantage of another defensive mistake and scored the second goal five minutes later. Indian team on the other hand toiled really hard but South African defense denied India every opportunity. Indian team also received three penalty corners, but failed to convert any of them. South African striker Miguel de Garica scored the third goal for India in the 34th minute. Visitors ended the first half 3-0 up with an eye on the victory.

But there was different story in the second half, as a different Indian team turned out. India's young sensation Yuvraj Singh scored the first goal for India in the 43rd minute from a pass from Indian captain Sarvanjit Singh. Sarvanjit combined with Sardar Singh and passed the ball to Yuvraj, who scored the goal.

On the other hand South Africa started to lose the momentum and in 46th minute Taine Paton received green card for a foul. 

India's second goal came through a penalty corner, India's fourth with Raghunath scoring the goal. South Africa received three successive penalty corners but failed to convert any of them. A yellow card for South Africa in the 63rd minute gave a man advantage to the Indian team and another young players SK Uthappa scored the goal in the 66th minute which helped India to draw the game

Indian coach Michael Nobbs was happy with the team's showed after coming back from 0-3 down to draw the game 3-3.

“Coming back from three-nil is a terrific result. We have been behind in a number of games in the last five months and we have always come back. So this is a good team,” Nobbs said.

“This has been a terrific series. It has given us an opportunity to look at all the probables, which has helped us see the make-up of the team before the qualifiers. So I’m really pleased with how it went.” continued Nobbs

South African coach Gregg Clark was unhappy with the team's performance

“It’s tough to concede a draw after being up 3-0. So I’m a little heart-broken. We had a green card and a yellow card. And for me, that changed the game a little bit.”

 Indian midfielder and best defender of the team Sardara Singh was adjudged Man Of the Series for his brilliant display

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