India lose 1-5 to Australia, crash out of FIH WL R3

ROTTERDAM, June 19: India’s hopes of securing a direct berth in next year’s World Cup went up in smoke after they were handed a humiliating 1-5 defeat by Australia in the quarterfinal of the men’s competition of the FIH World League Round 3, here today.
Six top teams — three each — will qualify directly for the 2014 World Cup to be held in Hague, The Netherlands from the two editions of FIH World League Round 3 — the ongoing event in Rotterdam and then the next one to be held in Malaysia from June 29 to July 7.
An error-prone India needed a miracle to topple Australia in what was the 100th international fixture between the two sides. But it was not be as the Kookaburras dished out a clinical performance to make short work of the Sardar Singh-led side.
The Australians took the stuffing out of India in the first 35 minutes by scoring as many four goals — Glenn Simpson (2nd minute), Matt Gohdes (20th, Russell Ford (22nd) including an own goal by Indian defender Sandeep Singh while their fifth goal was scored by Matthew Swann in the 39th minute.
Chinglensana Singh scored the consolation goal for India in the 21st minute.
Ranked second in the world, the Australians started the match as favourites against the 11th ranked Indians and they played according to their reputation by dominating the share of possession throughout the match.
The Indians played catch-up hockey in the entire 70 minutes and did not look convincing at all in all departments of the game.
To add to it, India’s perennial problem, a fragile defensive line continued to hurt them badly.
Australia were on the offensive from the onset and it took them just two minutes to break the deadlock when Simpson scored from their first penalty corner after Christopher Ciriello perfectly laid the ball for him. (PTI)

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