Glasgow: The Sardar Singh-led Indian men's hockey team gave a tough fight to reigning World Champions Australia in their third and penultimate Pool A match of the Commonwealth Games but eventually went down 2-4 at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre here Tuesday.
It was Australia who scored the first goal in the 15th minute through a penalty corner strike from Chris Ciriello. Simon Orchard helped Australia extend the lead in the 17th minute when he made an excellent move on the counter-attack.
This did not dent the spirit of the Indian team as they tried fighting back and created a few scoring opportunities. However, they were unable to convert.
The four-time defending champions made it 3-0 in the 27th minute when Jacob Whetton scored a field goal.
India then made sure they did not allow the attack to continue and eventually found a penalty corner opportunity in the dying moments of the first half. Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh did not disappoint and the 2010 edition silver medallists were off the mark.
The second half saw India put up a much better show as they made inroads into the Australian half. The efforts finally resulted in a 49th minute field goal when Ramandeep Singh decreased the tally to 2-3.
However, it was not going to be easy against the World No.1 team who came back to score off a penalty stroke in the very next minute to make it 4-2.
The scoreline was maintained till the hooter.
While Australia, who have entered their fifth consecutive CWG semi-final with the win, will next face hosts Scotland Thursday, India will take on South Africa.
A win will guarantee India a place in the last four but a loss will bring the goal differences into the picture.