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Australia down India for a place in final
June 03, 2005 18:05 IST
India came up with an improved performance but conceded a late goal and went down 0-1 to Olympic Champions Australia in their last league match in the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
The Indians, who tallied just four points from six matches, looked like reversing the trend of three consecutive loses as they matched the Aussies for most of the game.
But the defending champions, who needed to win against India to ensure a spot in the final, showed why they are the most feared team as they came back strongly and the experienced Jamie Dwyer scored the all-important goal in the 65th minute.
The goal was the result of a faulty pass by Rajpal Singh inside the opponent's striking circle. It provided the much-needed opening for Dwyer, who was well placed inside the Indian citadel, to come up with a fine reverse hit and close the issue.
India got a chance to equalise in the dying minutes of the match through their second penalty-corner but Len Aiyappa's low drag flick was blocked by the Australian custodian and Sandeep Michael failed to connect the rebound cleanly.
The three-time champions will now play the fifth-sixth positions play-off against either hosts Malaysia or New Zealand.