India’s men’s hockey team succumbed to a disappointing 7-2 defeat at the hands of Australia last week as the side crashed out of the World League Final in Delhi.
Despite taking a 2-0 lead, the hosts were unable to handle the power of their opponents who ran away with a convincing victory after Russell Ford top scored with a brace.
It all started so well for India who, after just 11 minutes, stormed into a shock 2-0 lead.
First, Birenda Lakra opened the scoring in the sixth minute before Yuvraj Walmiki sent the home crowd into dreamland, catching the Aussies on a counter-attack before firing in a second just five minutes later.
The world’s second best side were in unknown territory yet like any good team they soon regrouped and took the game to their opponents.
Nicholas Budgeon reduced India’s lead to the single goal, converting from a penalty corner and setting the visitors on their way to a big score.
Jason Wilson equalized five minutes later before Glenn Turner marked his 100th cap with a fine effort to give Australia the lead just prior to the half time whistle.
Three goals in the space of six second half minutes finished the game off for the dominant Kookaburras as a double from Russell Ford were sandwiched in-between a Simon Orchard strike.
Jacob Whetton rounded off the scoring, taking the score to 7-2 and cementing Australia’s place in the semi-finals.
“The physiological make-up of the Indian players needs to develop further,” Walsh said. “Our players are up against big, strong men and when it is like that, fatigue sets in.”
India will now be hoping to finish the tournament strongly as they face-off in the fifth-eighth semi-finals (teams who were eliminated in the quarter finals).