Olympic hockey qualifier: India beat Austria

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/h/hockey3.jpg' class='caption'> India struggle against little known Austria, beating them 7-3 in Santiago.

Updated: March 03, 2008 10:59 IST
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India were made to struggle by little-known Austria for their 7-3 win in the Olympic Hockey qualifiers at the Prince of Wales Stadium here Sunday night.

India were held to a 2-2 tie at half time but found their bearings in second half for a final score line that looked comfortable.

But what would have Indian coach Joaquim Carvalho concerned would be the ease with which Great Britain won their second game 8-0 against Russia. Great Britain have now scored 19 goals without any reply, while India has 15 against three.

In the third match on the second day, Chile bounced back from their first round loss to Austria, to beat Mexico 4-0.

The game against Austria started with a shocker for India as Robert Buchta found the target in the very second minute. Buchta picked up a great pass from Benjamin Stanzl and sounded the board to make it 1-0 for the Austrians.

The Indians were jolted into instant action, but it still took them seven minutes before Dilip Tirkey restored parity by converting a penalty corner.

The Austrian team still gave no indication of buckling under pressure as they fought tooth and nail.

Tirkey added a second goal from another penalty-corner, much to the relief of the sizeable contingent of Indian supporters.

But then the Austrians piled on pressure and earned a series of penalty-corners. From one of them, Christian Minar took a direct hit and sounded the boards to tie the score at 2-2, the way it stayed at the interval.

Some sharp words from coach Carvalho during the interval had an effect on the Indians as they looked more sure of themselves in the second session.

The Austrians held firm in defence for the first few minutes after half-time before Ignace Tirkey gave India a 3-2 edge with a fine field goal in the 41st minute.

It was another 10 minutes before the floodgates opened. In the last 15 minutes of the game, the Austrians wilted and let in four goals. Shivendra Singh (2), Bharath and Rajpal found the target to make the score line more convincing.

After the second day of competition, Great Britain and India are leading the points table.

Results Day II:

Great Britain beat Russia 8-0 (HT 4-0)
Scorers: Barry Middleton (7th min, 37th); Glenn Kirkham (11th, 65th); Matt Daly (25th, 46th); Mark Ralph (31st); James Tindall (41st)

Chile beat Mexico 4-0 (HT 1-0)
Felipe Montegu (29th, 46th and 70th); Matias Amoroso (68th)

India beat Austria 7-3 (HT 2-2)
India: Dilip Tirkey (9th, 23rd); Ignace Tirkey (41st); Shivendra Singh (51st, 55th); Bharath (53rd); Rajpal (54th)
Austria: Robert Buchta (2nd); Christian Minar (28th, 60th)

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