Hockey: GB miss lines in circle to hand India victory

Great Britain 0 India 2
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The Independent Online

Great Britain suffered their first defeat since 1992 at the hands of India last night in the opening game of a Four Nations Tournament here.

Great Britain suffered their first defeat since 1992 at the hands of India last night in the opening game of a Four Nations Tournament here.

Britain's chief coach Jason Lee put a brave face on the 2-0 defeat, less than a month from their opening game at the Olympics in Athens. "We did some good things and created enough chances but we need to improve our last touch in the circle," he said.

Playing without two of their first-choice players, goalkeeper Simon Mason and Barry Middleton, Britain opened confidently, but only a couple of brilliant saves from replacement goalkeeper Jon Ebsworth kept them in the game before India opened the scoring five minutes before the interval. Sandeep Singh beat Ebsworth at a penalty corner.

Britain's best first-half move came in the 16th minute when, following good work down the right from Niall Stott, Mark Pearn with an intelligent lob brought the best out of Indian goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza. India took advantage of a stumbling British defence, who failed to clear their lines, in the 53rd minute and Adam Sinclair scored their second. Britain again moved forward with purpose but were unable to get back into the game. Britain will need to improve on this performance in their second game this afternoon against Germany, the world and European champions.

Great Britain: J Ebsworth; T Bertram, B Garrard (capt), B Hawes, G Moodie, G Dunlop; G Fordham, J Wallis; N Stott, D Hall, R Moore. Substitutes: C Parnham, M Pearn, M Johnson, J Goudie.

India: A D'Souza; D Tirkey (capt), D Thakur; Sandeep Singh, W Xalco, B Lakra; I Turkey, G Ajit Singh, D Thakur, Baljeet Singh, A Sinclair. Substitutes: Harpal Singh, Prabhjot Singh, V Gupta, D Phillay.

Umpires: R O'Connor (Ire) and C Blasch (Ger).

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