Pegged as the solid favourites for the title, India today whipped Australia 4-2 (2-2) on penalty shootouts, thereby sealing a final spot in the men's Junior Hockey World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium here.
Tom Craig's goal in the 14th minute gave Australia the 1-0 lead but India equalised through Gurjant Singh (42nd minute) and led 2-1 with a goal from Mandeep Singh (48th). But Lachlan Sharp's successful deflection from a close angle in the 57th gave the visitors the equaliser as the match ended 2-2 in the regulation time.
In the shoot-out, Indian goalkeeper Vikash Dahiya saved twice to deny Australia the win, as Harjeet Singh, Harmanpreet, Sumit and Manpreet did their job to give the hosts a 4-2 win.
In the final, India will meet Belgium, who beat double defending champions Germany, also in a penalty shoot-out.
(With inputs from IANS)