The Hague : India suffered a humiliating 0-4 loss against defending champions Australia in their final group league encounter of the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup, here on Monday.Asserting their strength, Australia built up a four-goal lead in the initial 22 minutes, before the Indian managed to re-group themselves and put up a stronger defence thereby denying the fancied rivals, a chance of scoring any more goals.
Kieran Govers opened the scoring with a field goal in the 27th minute. It was followed by three penalty corner strikers – two by Chris Ciriello and one by Jeremy Hayward. Australia topped Group A with maximum 15 points from five successive victories.
The Aussies players are on course to have another crack at the title as a present to their coach Ric Charlesworth, for whom this will be the last World Cup as he retires, later this year.India finished their five pool matches with four points, gained from a victory over Malaysia and a draw with Spain. India now await the result of the Spain-Malaysia result later today to know whether they finish fourth or fifth in the group. Spain have two points from four matches, while Malaysia have lost all their four games.
A draw or a Malaysian victory will help India finish in the fourth spot in the group, and then play-off for the seventh and eighth spots. A Spanish victory will relegate India to the fifth spot in the pool, making them play for the ninth and 10th positions.
India managed to mouth a few raids, but the defence also regrouped and put up a stiffer challenge for the rival strikers. Australia today opened the game by pressuring the Indian defence into conceding an early goal. PTI