India Enter Final of Champions Trophy Hockey Despite Loss to Australia
Mandeep Singh celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates during the FIH Men's Hero Hockey Champions Trophy 2016 . (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The Indian men's hockey team qualified for their maiden Champions Trophy final after Great Britain came from behind to draw 3-3 against Belgium in London. Australia and India - will now meet in the summit clash on Friday.
India made it to the final with seven points from five games, while Australia had 13 points.
Earlier on Thursday, India were defeated 2-4 by a dominant Australian side in their last league match. This was India's second loss in the tournament, while the Aussies are unbeaten so far.
After a unproductive first half, Australia struck a brace of goals to stay 2-0 in their favour going into the half time.
India pulled all 11 players into their own circle in the first quarter and succeeded in denying the rival strikers too much space or time to pose much danger.
It was in the second quarter, when the Indian defenders erred in conceding too much space in their territory that Australia mounted the pressure and succeeded in scoring twice through penalty corner conversions.
India did not have a single shot at the Australian goal in the first half and started their fightback too late to be able to change the result.
At the start, the Indians were content on defending their own territory and did not move up until the seventh minute, when overlapping striker Surender Kumar sent a cross into the right from the right flank. The Australian defenders kept their composure and the ball was cleared by the goalkeeper without an Indian striker coming into the frame.
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