England will play Australia in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games semi-finals after losing 4-3 to India in a dramatic pool game on Wednesday.
England only needed a draw to finish top of the pool and earn a potential semi-final against New Zealand, but after leading 3-2, India scored twice in the last 92 seconds to steal the win.
India went close to scoring in the first four minutes through Gurjant Singh and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, whilst Mark Gleghorne also had two early scoring opportunities for England.
Surbiton’s Harry Gibson was in the England goal for the first and third quarters, but the deadlock was finally broken in the second, Gleghorne crossing for David Condon to finish brilliantly in the 17th minute for the only goal of the first half.
Indian captain, Manpreet Singh levelled things up in the 32nd minute with a fantastic finish into the bottom right corner beyond Gibson.
The teams went into the fourth quarter level at 1-1 with five further goals to be scored before the final hooter as the top two teams constantly changed places.
India went top of the table when Rupinder Singh, who was to limp off the pitch with a suspected hamstring injury later on, converted a penalty corner to put his team 2-1 ahead in the 51st minute.
Less than a minute later, England were level and back on top of the table when former Surbiton player Liam Ansell converted a penalty corner to make the score 2-2.
In the 56th minute, England’s top spot was made even more secure when Sam Ward scored his seventh goal of the tournament with a shot into the bottom left corner. India lost their right to a video referral challenging the goal.
Once the goal was confirmed, India installed a kicking back, a tactic which was to win the game for them. In the 59th minute, Varun Kumar levelled things again with a shot which crept over the goal-line just inside the left post.
With just 39 seconds remaining, Mandeep Singh scored the winning goal, the ball hit hard into the circle and deflected past England goalkeeper, George Pinner to knock England off the top of the table.
India gained possession after the pushback and used up enough time to run off the clock although England made one last attack and very briefly asked for a penalty corner before deciding not to use their video referral, the hooter sounding to confirm India’s victory.
England will play Australia and India will play New Zealand in the semi-finals after Australia beat New Zealand 2-1 in their final pool match earlier on Wednesday.
Surbiton’s Brendan Creed was with Gibson in the starting lineup with David Goodfield coming on as a fourth minute substitute and James Gall coming on two minutes later.
The Daily Schedule including links to information about individual matches can be found at the Commonwealth Games website
The England Hockey match report can be found here