From the high of their victory over Pakistan, India were brought crashing down to earth by Australia, who handed them a 5-2 humiliation in their second match on Tuesday.
Australia got on the score-sheet in the second minute of the game itself. Liam De Young was the man who shocked the crowd into silence, the ball coming off the cross bar before De Young pouched on the chance and deposited it into the net.
Within a few minutes, Australia had doubled their advantage, pressing forward and earning themselves a penalty corner. Glenn Turner made the chance count after the initial hit had been saved by Indian goalkeeper Adrian D’Souza. India had the worst possible start to this skirmish, going down 2-0 within the first 10 minutes of the contest.
India seemed to be lacking the passion and drive of the first match as the Aussies gained in confidence. In the 26th minute, a superbly constructed move by the Aussies saw them go 3-0 ahead. The move was started by De Young and finished off by Desmond Abbot. The Indians were clearly on the back foot, and needed some inspiration.
Just as all seemed lost for India, a moment of brilliance got the hosts on the score-sheet just as the final seconds of the first half were being played. The move was finished off by Vikram Pillay, who latched on to a great cross and had virtually an empty net to deposit the ball into. He did that in some style to give the home fans reason for hope going into the second half.
But those hopes were dashed very quickly in the second half, when the Aussies pumped in two more goals very quickly. A penalty corner in the 42nd minute of play, which was converted superbly by Luke Doerner for the Aussies, and Turner added another one to his tally just a minute later. The Indian defence fell apart as the Aussies seemed to be scoring at will.
India found some spark after keeping the Australians away for the next 10 minutes, with captain Rajpal Singh getting at the end of a neat cross and pushing the ball into the back of the net. With 20 minutes left in the contest, India were still hoping for a way to at least reduce the margin of defeat. But it wasn’t to be as the Aussies calmly kept most of the possession in the final minutes and wrapped up a big win.