IPOH (MALAYSIA), March 6: A listless India went down to Australia 2-4 for their second loss in three matches, pushing them out of the race to reach the final at the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey here.
Late goals by Ramandeep Singh (52nd, 53rd) were only enough to avoid a whitewash against table toppers Australia. Mark Knowles (28th), Aran Zalewski (35th), Daniel Beale (38th) and Blake Govers (40th) scored for Australia.
India, who have rested many senior players for the tournament, had lost their opener to Argentina 2-3 before drawing 1-1 with England.
Today was a must-win match for India but getting the better of the Australians proved to be tough as always.
With better ball possession in the first quarter, India created three potential chances to score but could not convert.
A golden opportunity was lost when a swift assist from Ramandeep Singh to Shilanand Lakra could not get past Australian goalkeeper Andrew Charter in the 8th minute. Though the rebound was taken by Sumit, his shot on goal went wide and India missed out on taking an early lead.
Though the team�s defence remained resolute in the first quarter as it kept World Champions Australia from making forays into the circle, an infringement in the 28th minute saw the Indian team concede a penalty stroke. � PTI