Champions Trophy: India lose to Australia; get 4th position

Bhubaneswar, Dec 14:


India ended up fourth in the Hockey Champions Trophy, going down 1-2 to Australia in the bronze medal match at the Kalinga Stadium here Sunday.

Eddie Ockenden (19th minute) and Matt Gohdes (52nd) scored for the world champions Australia while Lalit Upadhyay (42nd) scored the Indian goal.

While the first quarter remained goalless, Australia tasted their first success in the beginning of the second quarter when skipper Ockenden hit the net in 18th minute.

Indian mid-fielders created several chances but the forwards failed to capitalise in the second quarter. In the last minute of the second quarter, Australia earned two successive penalty corners but Indian defence stood firm to deny them.

At the half-time, Australia were leading 1-0.

In the beginning of the third quarter, a desperate India tried for the equaliser and had the better share of the ball possession. Finally, they were rewarded with a penalty corner in the 42nd minute.

After Gurjinder Singh’s flick was blocked by goalkeeper Andrew Charter, the ball went to Sardar Singh, who ran out of space and passed it to Nikkin Thimmaiah. Nikkin played the ball to a better-placed Lalit, who tapped the ball in.

S.V. Sunil and Akashdeep Singh missed two clear goal-scoring opportunities in the final quarter. The 24-year-old Sunil was one-on-one in the circle with the Australian goalkeeper. But Charter cut down Sunil’s space and successfully blocked the Indian on both occasions.

Akashdeep was fed twice from open play — but on one occasion he failed to properly receive it and the other went a few inches away from the post.

Gohdes scored the second goal for Australia in the 52nd minute after Jacob Whetton’s shot at the goal was not stopped properly by goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh and the ball fell near Gohdes, who didn’t find any difficulty in putting the ball in.

Later, India earned a penalty corner in the 54th minute, but failed to convert.

The Indian players tried hard to equalise during the dying minutes as they succeeded in keeping the ball inside the rival D. But Australia managed to hold on to the lead.

India had also finished fourth in the last competition in 2012, losing to Pakistan.



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