FIH Pro League: India slip to second defeat, lose 2-4 to Britain

Action from the Pro League match between India and Great Britain on Saturday. Hockey India

India were handed their second successive defeat in the European leg of the FIH Men's Hockey Pro League as they slipped to a 2-4 loss against hosts Great Britain 2-4 on Saturday.

The visiting side lost a thriller to Belgium on Friday and will next take on Belgium on June 2.

India were put on the back foot early into the game as Timothy Nurse struck a field goal in the sixth minute but recovered well as Harmanpreet Singh equalised from a penalty corner in the 13th minute. Thomas Sorsby restored Britain's lead in the 31st minute and Lee Morton gave his side a two-goal cushion with a fine finish two minutes later.

Harmanpreet reduced the deficit with his second goal of the day -- this one too from a penalty corner -- in the 42nd minute and become the Pro League's all-time top-scorer with 35 goals. Nicholas Bandurak, though, made it 4-2 in the 53rd minute to round off a routine win for the host side.

Nurse opened the account for England with his maiden goal at the senior level. He dribbled his way past Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Mandeep Mor down the left to enter the Indian 'D' before shooting the ball past keeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak, who started at goal ahead of the seasoned PR Sreejesh.

Britain opening the scoring was not surprising as the home team started on an aggressive note and the Indians struggled to keep up with the intensity of the Englishmen. Before the hosts took the lead, Brendan Creed's pass found an unmarked Sam Ward, but the latter's attempt was thwarted by a Pathak.

A few moments later, Ward was again in the thick of things, but Pathak made a timely intervention by kicking the ball away to safety. Then, the duo of Jarmanpreet Singh and Karthi initiated India's first real attacking move, surprising the English goalkeeper and nearly scoring the equaliser.

The Indians found the equaliser when Harmanpreet hit the back of the net off a penalty corner in the 13th minute. The goal spurred on the Indians and they rode the momentum into the second quarter, where they had a goal disallowed after the English opted for a video referral. Meanwhile, Sreejesh produced a fine diving save to block Zachary Wallace's penalty stroke and kept the match in the balance.

However, the hosts regained the lead when Sorsby converted a penalty corner in the third quarter. Morton made it 3-1 for England with the home team's second strike -- a field goal -- in the third quarter. Harmanpreet did claw one back, but Bandurak's strike in the fourth quarter sealed the win for the hosts.

India and Great Britain were tied with 19 points at the top of the table ahead of this game, but the latter consolidated their position following Saturday's win.