Britain grateful to Garcia

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The Independent Online
Hockey

Russell Garcia yesterday became only the second player to pass the 100- cap mark for Great Britain, and celebrated with the opening goal as Britain beat India 2-1 to give them their first points in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, writes Bill Colwill.

Although the Indians were lacking all but one of their Olympic squad, coach David Whitaker said after the game: "It was an important psychological win to promote both belief and team development."

With captain Jason Laslett and Julian Halls missing through injury, Britain opened tentatively, and Simon Mason was called upon to make a couple of good saves from Sarabjit Singh.

Britain took the lead 11 minutes into the second half through Garcia at their third penalty corner. Within four minutes the Indians were level, Prabakaran Lakshman getting the goal after good approach work from Sukhbir Singh Gill.

The temporary suspension of Nick Thompson for protesting after being warned for a heavy tackle did little to help Britain's cause until the closing minutes, when a period of sustained pressure led to the winning goal, Chris Mayer shooting home from the edge of the circle.

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