India's second-half surge in the match against Great Britain on Sunday didn't prove enough as Nick Catlin's late strike earned the Britons a 3-2 victory in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup being held in Ipoh, Malaysia.
India, who were playing without star centre-forward Shivender Singh, were chasing the game for most part until two strikes in the space of five minutes by VR Raghunath (55th min) and SV Sunil (59th minute) helped them draw level at 2-2. However, as the game opened in the last 10 minutes, Catlin scored the winner for his team on a counter-attack.
Earlier, Great Britain ended the first half leading 1-0 with a goal from Glenn Kirkham, who scored off a deflection from Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who tried to save the second penalty corner against India. Though India came out playing better in the second half, it was Great Britain who extended their lead when Ben Hawes made it 2-0 in the 44th minute.
India got two golden chances to make it 3-3 in the last two minutes, but Sandeep Singh and Raghunath failed to convert two penalty corners, allowing Great Britain to secure a narrow 3-2 win.
India played defender Rupinder Pal Singh in the centre-forward position, which proved to be a costly error with Yuvraj Walmiki present to replace the injured Shivender. Also Sreejesh replaced skipper Bharat Chetri in the goal despite the latter's good shows in India's win over Korea on Friday. That, according to coach Michael Nobbs, was part of his rotation policy for the goalkeepers.
India are now fifth on the points table in the seven-team tournament with three points from three matches. They take on the hosts Malaysia on Monday.