Hockey World League: India holds defending champions Australia to draw

Bhubaneswar: Host India opened its Hockey World League Final campaign with a 1-1 draw against last year’s champions Australia at the Kalinga Stadium here in Bhubaneswar.

The men in blue took the lead through a brilliant backhand shot from Mandeep Singh. But the Aussies came back strongly after a slow start to the game and eventually found the equaliser through a penalty.

While the hosts created a lot of chances with 41% penetration they were too predictable. Though the Australians were down to 10 men India was not able to capitalise on the opportunity.

Earlier in the evening, Germany made a winning start to its campaign with a 2-0 drubbing of England. The Germans scored two goals in the second half with strikes from Mats Grambusch and Christopher Ruhr.

On Saturday, all the eight nations will be in action with hosts India taking on England while Argentina will face Belgium, Netherlands will go against Spain and Germany will lock horns with Australia.