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Rediff.com  » Sports » Lanco hockey: India go down fighting to Australia

Lanco hockey: India go down fighting to Australia

November 23, 2012 20:08 IST

India failed to qualify for the final of the Lanco International Super Series hockey tournament after losing 3-4 to Australia in a hard-fought encounter in Perth on Friday.

It was India's second straight loss in the tournament, having been beaten 1-2 by England in their tournament opener on Thursday.

India opened the scoring through skipper Sardar Singh, but their lead was short-lived as Boyne equalised for Australia within seconds.

India matched the Aussies in all departments of the game in the opening half even as goalkeeper P R Sreejesh put up a splendid show under the bar.

However, just a minute before the break Australia surged ahead through Boyne's second goal of the day before Danish Mujtaba drew parity for India at the stroke of half-time.

The Kookaburras came out strongly after the lemon break and wasted no time in restoring their lead through Whitton's goal.

The match witnessed a see-saw battle as India again levelled the scores through a superb left-hand flick by Gurvinder Singh Chandi.

Australia could have surged ahead soon if not for goalkeeper Sreejesh, who saved a one-on-one penalty shoot-out.

However, Australia had the last laugh as Trent Mitton scored from nowhere from the right flank five minutes before the hooter to ensure the home team its second straight win.

India play arch-rivals Pakistan on Saturday in an inconsequential round-robin match of the improvised nine-a-side format of the game, better known as Hockey 9s, at the Perth Hockey Stadium in Bentley.

The two Asian sides will again lock horns on Sunday in the third-fourth place play-off match after Pakistan lost their second match in the tournament, 2-4, to England.

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