A lacklustre India had to sweat it out before pipping Ireland 3-2 for their third consecutive win in the men's competition of the Hero Hockey World League at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday.
The Indians had to go through some anxious moments in the final minutes of the game to register the win, which consolidated their position at the top of the standings with nine points from three victories.
Rupinder Pal Singh (16th minute) and vice-captain V R Raghunath (39th) converted two penalty corners for India, but it was striker Dharamvir Singh, who scored the all-important winner for the hosts in the 56th minute of the game.
For the Irishmen, Conor Harte (27th) and Eugene Magee (51st) were the goal-getters.
The Indians were nowhere close to their best as they lacked in coordination and looked tired even as the Irishmen showcased fine exhibition in defending.
The Indians dominated the early share of exchanges and pressed hard for goals from the onset, only to be denied by a stubborn Irish backline.
The Indians were also not upto the mark with their penalty corner conversion rate as they could utilise just two out of the six set pieces they earned in the game.
It took India 16 minutes and four penalty corners to break the deadlock when Rupinder beat the Irish goalkeeper David Harte with a powerful low flick.
The Irishmen, however, drew parity 11 minutes later, from their third penalty corner, which they earned in quick succession. Conor scored with a reverse hit after the visitors went for variation.