London : Indian hockey team was prevailed over by Australia 2-4 in a league encounter of the Champions trophy here tonight. Australia, predictably started off on a good note and held possession for long periods of time. Despite, the sustained pressure though, the first chance of the game came to India as long cross into the circle from Surender on the right was met by Jeremy Hayward, who under pressure from Mandeep, deflected it goal wards.
Australia’s Tyler Lovell was alert to the danger though, saving it sharply. Australia created their first chance of the game two minutes later off a PC, but Sreejesh was equal to the task saving low to his left.
The teams went into the first break goal less. Australia came out harder in the second quarter, creating several more chances in a busy first minutes of play. They hit the post via Trent Mitton in the 18th minute and then Sreejesh was called into action for the next, saving smartly. India were under pressure in the first five minutes, and defended desperately.
In the 20th minute though, Mitton finally converted a PC to give Australia the lead. Three minutes Aran Zelewski doubled the lead, as the teams went into half time with Australia leading 2-0. Australia came out without any changes in the second half and India, under pressure and down on the score sheet were forced to play up the field to look for goals. They had a fair share of the possession and kept intercepting and creating play in Australia’s half, but their final pas let them down.
Australia capitalised on the attacking formation to score a third on the counter via Flynn Ogilvie.
India finally had their first PC of the game in the final minute of the quarter, and Raghunath made no mistake at the first time of asking. His flick found the bottom left corner strong and hard, to reduce Australia’s lead to two. Almost from the restart though, Australia restored their three-goal lead via Tristan White as then went into the final break.
Down but not beat, India came out strong and looked a team which wanted to complete a comeback in the final quarter. In the 49th minute they reduced the margin to two. A smart pass from Manpreet at the top of Australia’s circle found Talwinder, who smashed a reverse hit goalwards. Mandeep, one of the top scorers of the tournament, ran away from his marker and met it perfectly, directing it into goal. That was to prove the last breach by either of the teams as the game ended 4-2 in favour of the Australians.