The last edition of men’s Champions Trophy, Hockey, is underway in the Netherlands. Yesterday, India lost to Australia by 3-2. The world champions successfully subdued all the efforts of the Indian team to net the ball. Though the result came unfavourable, India fought their hearts out till the last minute. A solid defence by the Australian prevented the match to be levelled, and thus zeroing any chance of sharing of points.
Producing their best show of the tournament, Australia scored three goals and secured full points. As usual, the Indian attack was a bit laggy in the start which allowed the Australians to capitulate. In the 6th minute, the Aussies took lead. Later, equaliser by Varun Kumar in the 10th minute was negated by two strikes by the men in yellow. Indians tried hard and that helped to give audiences a nail-biting finish. With few penalty corners being given, they were always in contention. With just a minute remaining to the final whistle India got a penalty corner but could not capitalise. The other goal for India came via Harmanpreet Singh in the 58th minute.
Down to third
The loss meant India slumped to the third spot in the standings with six points from two wins behind hosts Netherlands (6 points), while Australia climbed to the top with seven points from three games. The Australians are the current World Champions apart from being the defender of Champions trophy. Indian coach Harendra Singh has joined the team recently and performances in the Champions Trophy have been impressive up till now. Defeating Pakistan in the very first match and Olympic Champions Argentina in the next, hopes are high from the team.
The next match is scheduled with Belgium on Thursday. The top two sides after the round robin stage of the six-team event will play in the final of the tournament on Sunday.