Super Aussies steamroll India

Super Aussies steamroll India

Super Aussies steamroll India

Kookaburras score an emphatic 7-2 win over hosts to power into semifinals.

 Australia doused a bright start by India to inflict a 7-2 drubbing in the quarterfianls of Hero Hockey World League Final here on a chilly Wednesday.

The scoreline brought back painful memories of the 2010 Commonwealth Games final where India were routed 8-0 by Australia at the same venue -- the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium --in front of a packed and stunned gathering. Not much has changed since then.

Russell Ford (41st, 47th) scored a brace for Australia while Nicholas Budgeon (24th), Jason Wilson (29th), Glenn Turner (35th), Simon Orchard (45th) and Jacob Whetton (65th) scored a goal apiece.

After going down 0-2 early in the match, Australia bounced back with characteristic finesse and flair to shatter the Indian resilience. The Indians impressed with their vigour and earnest effort on the field but in the end it was hardly of any consequence. The support from the raucous home crowd was unflagging.

Australian coach Ric Charlesworth, the other day, had questioned the self-belief of the Indians. The hosts responded by stunning Australia in the first 11 minutes, slamming two goals.

India carried from where they had left against Germany and surprised all and sundry with their fast and fluent start.

The packed stadium went wild when Birendra Lakra opened the account in the sixth minute and exploded with joy when an opportunist Yuvraj Walmiki (11th) doubled the lead, brilliantly finishing a well constructed move. There was a spring in the steps of the World No 10 side as they attacked and defended with renewed zeal.

Australia then earned penalty corner but it was well saved by PR Sreejesh. However, the Indians kept attacking the Australian citadel, forcing the Kookaburras to be on their toes. Like a champion side, though, Australia mounted a superb comeback. India were never allowed add another goal to their tally.

They scored their first goal through their second penalty corner which Nicholas Budgeon converted with a powerful dragflick. Another five minutes saw the scores being levelled. A searing long pass from Timothy Deavin was tapped in and Australia were back with a bang. Glenn Turner gave the Kookaburras the lead when he completed a well stitched move to celebrate his 100th cap for Australia in style.

The second half was a painfully one-sided affair with Australians dominating every move on the field. The Indian defence was torn into pieces with Australia pumping in three goals in the opening 12 minutes to go 6-1 up.

India could have added two more goals had VR Raghunath converted a penalty corner and Walmiki not missed a golden opportunity from top of the circle. But that were not to be.

An unstoppable Australia simply outpaced the Indians and peppered their circle with countless raids.

Result: Australia: 7 (Nicholas Budgeon 24th, Jason Wilson 29th, Glenn Turner 35th, Russell Ford 41st, 47th, Simon Orchard 45th, Jacob Whetton 65th) bt India: 2 (Birendra Lakra 6th, Yuvraj Walmiki 11th).

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