India lose to defending champions Australia

BREDA, the Netherlands: India went down 2-3 to World No1 Australia in a hard fought third round robin match of the Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy Breda 2018 here on Wednesday.
Varun Kumar (10th minute) and Harmanpreet Singh (58th) scored for India. Young forward Lachlan Sharp (6th minute) had given defending champions Australia an early lead while Tom Craig (15th) and Trent Mitton (33rd) scored the other goals.
With a place in the final at stake, the match began with an action-packed first quarter with both teams keeping each other on the edge. It were Australia who drew first blood with a splendid goal by Sharp.
The Indian defence was hoodwinked when Jake Whetton was quick to assist Eddie Ockenden whose cross was well picked up by Sharp to deflect past Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh.
India were quick to respond with an improvised attack that fetched them a penalty corner, but a miss-trap off Sardar Singh’s injection saw the effort being missed.
India earned another penalty corner through Lalit Upadhyay but again the ball bounced off before being trapped but the possession remained with India.
It was SV Sunil’s brilliant cross to an unmarked Varun Kumar that helped India equalise. Varun made no mistake in picking it up well and flicking it past Australian goalkeeper Tyler Lovell.
India will face World No 3 Belgium on Thursday. — IANS