India go down to Australia in tense shootout in Champions Trophy hockey final

India, after holding Australia 1-1 in the regulation time, went down 1-3 in the Champions Trophy final. They finished runners-up for the second straight time

The Indian hockey team missed a golden chance to lift the Champions Trophy as they went down 1-3 to Australia in the penalty shootout of the final on Sunday after the scores read 1-1 in regulation time.

Only Manpreet Singh managed to score in the penalty shootout for India as Sardar Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and Lalit Upadhyay failed in their task. The World No.1 side, on the other hand, scored through Aran Zalewski, Daniel Beale and Jeremy Edwards to defend their title. Mathew Swann and Craig Tom missed for the reigning World Champions.

It was a keenly-contested battle in a repeat of last edition's final two years ago in London and once again Australia came out on top in the shootout to clinch a record 15th Champions Trophy title, four more than second-placed Germany.

Harendra Singh-coached India had to be content with a consecutive runners-up finish after failing to get past the Kookaburras in what was the 37th and final edition of the tournament as it will be replaced by the Pro Hockey League.

This was Australia's 83rd win against India in 124 meetings. India have won 22 games while 19 have ended in draws. While in Champions Trophy the holders won their 13th contest against India out of their 17 meetings while India have won two. Two matches have ended in draws.

Australia took the lead in the 24th minute through a penalty corner conversion by Blake Govers, but India drew parity in the 42nd minute through a field strike by young Vivek Sagar Prasad.

A 1-1 scoreline was what the teams could manage in regulation time and like last edition, the final entered the shoot-off. Australia came out on top in the battle of nerves, courtesy goalkeeper Tyler Lovell, who evicted three saves to turn out to be the hero.

Though India fought brilliantly in the match, they wasted several penalty corner chances, trying too much via variations in order to get the better of the world champions. However, the variations were properly executed while the Australian defenders did brilliantly to stave off drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh.

Hosts Netherlands clinched the bronze medal defeating Olympic champions Argentina 2-0 in the bronze medal play-off earlier in the day. Belgium defeated Pakistan 2-2 (2-1) in the fifth-sixth position classification playoff.

 

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Agencies