Blake Govers – Penalty Corner – 24th minute
Vivek Prasad – Field Goal – 42nd minute
Wrapping it up
Whew, that was some match. Perhaps the best of the tournament. And, India were upto the Australian challenge. They defended brilliantly (as they have done throughout the tournament), were good in the midfield, and created enough chances, penetrating the Aussie defence. But the Australians held their nerves in the shootout. Spare a thought for Sreejesh, who was exceptional from the start of the tournament. But the Kangaroos have won the last edition of the Champions Trophy. They have won it 15 times now. Despite the defeat, lot of positives for take home for Harendra Singh and his men. Good preparation ahead of two important tournaments – Asian Games and World Cup – coming up this year.
Here’s the final image from the last edition of the Champions Trohy.
SV Sunil: It’s a part of the game that someone loses and someone wins. We want to play good hocket in the upcoming tournaments. We’ll go back to India and see the mistakes we have made and try and fix them.
Tyler Lovell, goalkeeper and Australia’s hero today: We worked hard. India played well. I was pretty confident after the 2016 final. I was just planning to stay calm and waiting for them to make a mistake. And, we haven’t played our best hockey. We need to improve. But we will take it. We were consistent throughout the tournament. We are going in the right direction.
Australia 3-1 India Edwards beats Sreejesh. The Kangaroos win again! They have defended successfully the Champions Trophy.
Australia 2-1 India India have a lifeline. Manpreet scores. He stays calm and beats Lovell.
Australia 2-0 India Sreejesh saves to keep India alive.
Australia 2-0 India Lalit misses India’s third chance. If Australia scores next, they win.
Australia 2-0 India Swann misses, Sreejesh saves. India still in the hunt.
Australia 2-0 India India miss again.
Australia 2-0 India Sreejesh comes out to deny Beale, but the latter scoops the ball. Australia lead 2-0.
Australia 1-0 India Sardar misses, Lovell saves for Australia. India miss their first chance.
Australia 1-0 India Zalewski beats Sreejesh in Australia’s first chance to give the champs the lead.
HOOTER! It’s 1-1 after full-time. Both teams fought tooth and nail. But this match needs a winner and there will be a shootout for the second straight time in a Champions Trophy final.
Less than 30 seconds to go... Looks like there will be a shootout!
Fourth quarter, India 1-1 Australia (1 minute to go): Just one more minute left. Are we heading to a second straight Champions Trophy final that will end with a shootout?
Fourth quarter, India 1-1 Australia (3 minutes to go): Crazy few seconds of play. Manpreet misses, Mandeep takes a tumble, the Indians are doing whatever they can, however they can to get the lead.
Fourth quarter, India 1-1 Australia (4 minutes to go): Desperation shown by both teams. Long passes, aerieal passes. End-to-end hockey.
Fourth quarter, India 1-1 Australia (5 minutes to go): Desperation shown by both teams. Long passes, aerieal passes. End-to-end hockey.
Fourth quarter, India 1-1 Australia (7 minutes to go): The crowd’s backing India. It’s pretty much like a home game for them... oh wait, Dilpreet almost scores the winner. But Tyler Lovell denies him by blocking with his left pad.
Fourth quarter, India 1-1 Australia (9 minutes to go): Both teams are desperately searching for the winner. They wouldn’t want to go to another shootout after working so hard in the match.
Fourth quarter, India 1-1 Australia: Great organisation by the Indian defence. They keep out another Australian attack. They looked a little hurried when they were desperate to equalise. But look more settled now.
End of third quarter, India 1-1 Australia Anxious last few seconds in the third quarter. Mandeep, for the second time in this match, came close to score a goal in the final. But the Australian keeper, Lovell, shows great reflexes to stop the ball.
Third quarter, India 1-1 Australia (2 minutes to go): This match has gotten more exciting after Vivek’s equaliser (no one would have expected him to score it). Australia counterattack immediately. Craig, after a brilliant run, scoops the ball above the net.
GOAL! Vivek equalises for India! He scores off a deflection. The goalkeeper is in no position to save that. Vivek just taps the ball in.
Third quarter, India 0-1 Australia (4 minutes to go): Great run by SV Sunil but he’s unable to find a teammate
Third quarter, India 0-1 Australia (5 minutes to go): Despite Australia’s lead, the match has more or less been even with 13 circle entries apiece for India and Australia thus far.
Third quarter, India 0-1 Australia (7 minutes to go): India lose their referral with 22 minutes left in the game.
Third quarter, India 0-1 Australia (9 minutes to go): Oh dear, India came very, very close. But denied by inches. Mandeep’s strike ricochets off the post.
Third quarter, India 0-1 Australia (10 minutes to go): Sunil almost gets into the Australian circle but slips in between. Looks like something in the surface that’s slippery.
Third quarter, India 0-1 Australia (13 minutes to go): And, India miss their fourth PC of the match. They don’t go for a drag flick. The ball is trapped and passed to Manpreet, who slips and misses. Awkward miss.
Third quarter, India 0-1 Australia (13 minutes to go): Indeed, it is a Penalty Corner for India. Lalit has made his way to inject.
Third quarter, India 0-1 Australia (13 minutes to go): Dilpreet showcases brilliant skill, comes close to scoring. But the Australian defence keeps the ball away. But looks like it’s a PC for India.
So, we are all set for the third quarter...
Australia coach Colin Batch: Gave away three PCs to India. We know how important that was yesterday. We started well, then India got on top. So, good to score early in the match. In the second half, we’d look to play with more control.
Australia dominated the second quarter. They converted their first penalty corner and twice came close to doubling their lead – once because of the pressure they put and the second time because of India’s brain-fade moment. Harendra Singh’s men will want to equalise early to play freely again.
End of first half, Australia 1-0 India
Second quarter, India 0-1 Australia (1 minutes to go): Confusion. Looks like the Indian defence was waiting for the referee to whistle to perhaps signal the end of the half. Zalewski takes advantage of the situation and strikes the ball. But Sreejesh is alert and he keeps it away.
Second quarter, India 0-1 Australia (2 minutes to go): Circle entries so far: India - 10, Australia - 10.
Second quarter, India 0-1 Australia (4 minutes to go): Govers smashes the ball off a penalty corner to Sreejesh’s left. Looks like Sreejesh was wrong-footed. Australia has taken the lead. India will be under pressure.
GOAL! Blake Govers gives the lead for Australia.
Second quarter, India 0-0 Australia (6 minutes to go): Free hit for Australia. Ends up in a chance for Kleinschmidt. Sreejesh saves. But Australia earns a PC.
Second quarter, India 0-0 Australia (8 minutes to go): Govers tries to evade the Indian defence and score Australia’s first goal. But Birendra Lakra stops him. The Indian defence denies the Aussies again.
Second quarter, India 0-0 Australia (10 minutes to go): The game’s slowed down a smidgen. No circle penetration in the last two minutes or so.
Second quarter, India 0-0 Australia (12 minutes to go): Harmanpreet to take Sardar’s injection. Hayward runs front and stops the strike. Still 0-0.
Second quarter, India 0-0 Australia (12 minutes to go): Birendra Lakra shows great stick skills, runs in, evading the Australian defence. Australia give away a third PC for India trying to stop him.
Second quarter, India 0-0 Australia (14 minutes to go): Simranjeet passes to SV Sunil, who’s in front of Australian goal. He tries to scoop the ball over the keeper. But overdoes it. The ball safely goes well above the bar.
End of first quarter, India 0-0 Australia: Anxious moments in the last minute of the first quarter for India. Australia were in India’s circle. Zalewski came close to scoring. But Surender was solid in the defence. It’s still 0-0.
First quarter, India 0-0 Australia (3 minutes to go): Chance for India. Great pass by Dilpreet that deflected off the Australian defender’s stick and went to SV Sunil. But he fails to beat the keeper... wait, it looks like a back-stick from Dilpreet. So, the goal might not have counted anyway.
First quarter, India 0-0 Australia (5 minutes to go): Australia trying to break into the Indian defence. The Indian midfield once again has been a bit slow compared to the Aussies.
First quarter, India 0-0 Australia (7 minutes to go): Another penalty corner. Another bad injection. Only 16% conversion of penalty corners in this tournament. India have a 22% conversion rate. But they need to do better this game.
First quarter, India 0-0 Australia (8 minutes to go): Poor injection. The ball doesn’t reach Dilpreet, who was about to take the penalty corner. Australia scramble to clear the ball away.
First quarter, India 0-0 Australia (8 minutes to go): Penalty corner for India!
First quarter, India 0-0 Australia (8 minutes to go): Sharp and Beale came close to scoring for the Aussies. The Kangaroos are putting pressure on the Indians. But Sreejesh is upto the mark.
First quarter, India 0-0 Australia (10 minutes to go): Surender makes an excellent counterattack after intercepting the ball from the Indian circle. He was brilliant in the last game against Netherlands as well.
First quarter, India 0-0 Australia (12 minutes to go): Mitton gets close to the Indian goal. But the defenders do well to keep the danger away. India counterattack. But SV Sunil can’t get too close the Australian net.
First quarter, India 0-0 Australia (13 minutes to go): Good start by Australia. No serious threat of goals so far. Australia would look to put pressure on the Indian midfield.
Alright the teams are out, the national anthems are over and we are set to go...
Here are the lineups:
India need to convert more Penalty Corners: They have converted just four of the 20 penalty-corner opportunities in the last four games. Against the Netherlands, India could have taken an early lead but they failed to convert two PCs in the first half. Should do better against the Aussies.
The penultimate day of Champions Trophy was exciting. A superb upset of Australia by Argentina (albeit in a dead rubber) followed by the thrilling 1-1 draw by Netherlands and India. Here are the goals from these two games:-
Manpreet Singh after India’s 1-1 draw against Netherlands: We didn’t come for a draw. We were in a mindset to win. We missed a couple of chances. And, against Australia – the No 1 team in the world – we shouldn’t miss the chances.
NETHERLANDS WIN BRONZE: Second half goals (both off penalty corners) by Jeroen Hertzberger and Mirco Pruijser helped hosts Netherlands beat Olympic champions Argentina and win the bronze medal.
India vs Australia in Champions Trophy
India’s performance in the last five Champions Trophy editions:-
2004: 4th place
2005: 6th place
2012: 4th place
2014: 4th place
2016: 2nd place
Here’s today’s starting XI against Australia:-
6:45 pm: Good evening ladies and gents. Big, big day today for PR Sreejesh and his men. With a new coach and a few changes in the team, there were doubts if India could do well in the Champions Trophy. But they have done enough to put themselves in the final. They have won twice, drawn twice and were defeated once. Not bad results, considering that Pakistan apart, all their other opponents are ranked higher than them. But today, they are up against the mighty Australians – the defending champs, the world No 1. The previous final, they lost to the Aussies 1-3 in the penalty shootout. What’s gonna happen tonight?