Santiago (Chile):India blew away an early lead and failed to perform to the expected levels, allowing Great Britain to pull off a 3-2 win to virtually assure themselves a final berth in the World Hockey Olympic Qualifying tournament underway in Chile.
Rob Moore scored in the last minute to guide Great Britain to their fourth win in the league late last night while India remained on nine points from three wins and now need to beat hosts Chile tomorrow to qualify for the Sunday final.
For India, V Ramachandra Raghunath converted two penalty corners in the 2nd and 64th minutes to keep them in the game at the Prince of Wales Country Club ground.
But Britain, keeping their composure despite the early reverse, hit back through Richard Mantell (15th) and Jonty Clarke (45th) before Moore came up with the match-winner.
India was lacking in discipline, especially in the first-half during which they received two yellow card suspensions while Britain played a far more constructive game and stuck to their gamelan of attacking from the wings to wear down the defence of the subcontinent side.
The first-half proceedings were rather scrappy with neither team able to get into any sort of rhythm.
While an early goal failed to inspire India, the British displayed resilience to keep chipping away at the rival defence to eventually score the equaliser.
The Indian team failed to show much discipline in their overall game that was punctuated by needless physical play leading to yellow card suspensions to Vikram Kanth and Shivendra Singh.
So much so that the team could not settle down and their game plan of using the long hits to breach the British defence did not pay off as more often than not, the shots were penalised for dangerous play.
Overall, there was little to separate the two in the first session although Britain had more of the ball, but they never really came close to adding to the tally except when Jonty Clarke found himself in front of the goal but his deflection off a Simon Mantell cross was just wide wide of the mark.
At the other end, India could have notched a second goal had Prabhjot, gaining possession from William Xalco's long hit, could not find the boards from close.
The match began on a rousing note with Indians forcing a penalty corner in the first minute and Raghunath converted with a powerful drag-flick.
Britain hit back in a like manner with Richard Mantell finding the back of the net with a well directed flick past goalkeeper Baljit Singh in the 15th minute. More PTI Cor SKI
India began the second-half on a positive note, forcing two penalty corners in quick succession, but could not convert either.
A relieved Britain then applied pressure while the Indians struggled to scramble the ball upfield. Past the 45th minute, Britain took the lead as Clarke found the net following a mix up in the Indian defence following a Richard Alexander-Hawes move from the right.
Thereafter, the exchanges were fairly even with neither side able to take control. The pressure was more on India to catch up and desperation was fairly evident in their moves most of which were rather disjointed.
With about six minutes left for the close, India forced their fourth penalty corner and Raghunath was yet again on target with a low flick.
The equaliser sparked the match into a frenzy of action. Britain came up with some threatening moves and a minute from close, scored the match-winner as Moore dived to deflect a Simon Mantell cross and clinch the issue.