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CWG 2022: India settle for silver after 0-7 drubbing against Australia in men's hockey final

In one of its worst performances in recent times, the Indian men's hockey team suffered an embarrassing 0-7 drubbing at the hands of defending champions Australia to settle for a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Monday.

CWG 2022: India settle for silver after 0-7 drubbing against Australia in men's hockey final snt
Birmingham, First Published Aug 8, 2022, 7:39 PM IST

At the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Monday, the Indian men's hockey team settled for a silver medal after an ugly 0-7 loss to the reigning champions Australia. It was one of their worst performances in recent memory.

Australia extended their dominance of the CWG stage by overwhelming India with their lightning-quick pace and unrelenting attacks. Australia has dominated the podium ever since hockey was added to the Games in 1998. India has now lost to Australia in a CWG final three times, having previously done so in the 2010 and 2014 editions of the competition.

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In the lopsided match, Blake Govers, Jacob Anderson, and Flynn Ogilvie each netted two goals, while Nathan Ephraums and Tom Wickham each scored twice.

The gold medal match was far from anticipated as a mighty Australia scored five goals in the opening period to defeat India. The only time India lost so severely in a CWG was in New Delhi in 2010 when Australia thrashed the hosts 8-0.

CWG 2022: India settle for silver after 0-7 drubbing against Australia in men's hockey final snt

The Indians gave the Australians too much room in the middle of the field, which made them appear rusty and illiterate and allowed the Kookaburras to gain ground.

The structure that the Indians are known for was nowhere to be seen. The defence looked shaky, but there was no midfield and forward-line coordination. The past problem of miss-passing and trapping returned to haunt the Indians. It allowed Australia to play free-flowing hockey. 

There were relatively few circle penetrations by the Indians, and when they did, they frequently lacked the final pass or appeared disorganised. Such was India's struggle that the team could not secure a single penalty corner.

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Australia secured their three penalty corner inside the first 10 minutes and broke the deadlock from the third through Govers, whose flick went in between India custodian PR Sreejesh's legs. 

Ephramus scored on a right wing counterattack a minute into the first quarter. In the 22nd minute, Anderson made it 3-0 for Australia by scoring on a rebound and putting the ball in from close range after Sreejesh had made the first save. It was pouring goals for Australia.

Akashdeep Singh's reverse hit was the sole attempt by India to score, but Australian goaltender Andrew Charter stopped it.

Australia added two more goals to their tally in a span of two minutes before half-time through Wickham (26th), who deflected in Tim Brand's pass, and Anderson (27th) to take complete control of the match at half-time. 

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An injury to Manpreet Singh after a collision with an Australian player in the second quarter made life more difficult for the Indians as the skipper didn't take the field in the last two quarters. 

In the 42nd minute, Ephramus scored his second goal with a neat deflection before Ogilvie added another four minutes later. Six minutes later, Australia scored another, but the goal was disallowed for backstick after India went for the referral.

(With inputs from PTI)

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