India lose Champions Trophy shootout but protest, delay result

Hockey-ChampionsLeague The India team walk round the pitch after lodging a protest concerning the penalty shoot out during the 1st and 2nd place match between Australia and India on day six of the FIH Men's Champions Trophy at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London | AP

The final status of the Champions Trophy title clash was still unknown as Indian hockey team protested against the second shot awarded to Australia in the shootout after losing the match 1-3, here on Friday.

India put up a gallant display in the title encounter against the World champions Australia ended as they muffed three tries in the shootout after no goal was scored in regulation period.

The officials assembled to decide on India's appeal as trophies were removed from the ground and the fans also left the stadium.

Only Harmanpreet Singh was able to score in the shootout, while S.K. Uthappa, S.V. Sunil and Surender Kumar all shot wide of the target. Just four attempts were required from the two teams as Australia had gained a winning 3-1 lead.

Aran Zalewski, Daniel Beale and Simon Orchard scored for Australia, while Trent Mittons try was blocked by goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh.

There was plenty of drama in the shootout as Beales shot was re-taken after he failed to score and sought a video review. The video umpire asked the shot to be taken again, leaving Indian coach Roelant Oltmans fuming on the sidelines.

Fancied Australia, looking for their 14th Champions Trophy title, faced a stiff fight from the Indians, who were playing their first final, but raised the level to come within striking distance of the title.

Australia wasted a penalty stroke in the second quarter and India failed to capitalise on their superiority in numbers when Australia were down to nine men for a short while in the third quarter.

India's lone previous medal in the Champions Trophy came 34 years ago, when they got a bronze at Amsterdam in 1982. India made the first foray into the circle in the ninth minute when Mandeep Singh broke in from the right flank and his shot rebounded off Australian goalkeeper Andrew Charter.

The ball went to Uthappa, who had the opportunity to have a measured crack at the goal, but sent a rushed reverse hit wide to the right.

In the next minute, Australia laid seize on the Indian citadel through four successive penalty corners, but goalkeeper Sreejesh brought off two fine saves. In the end, it was defender Surender Kumar who rushed out to block the penalty corner flick and the ball went out of the circle.

Talwinder Singh exchanged passed with Nikkin Thimmaiah and went into the circle from left, but he got into a very narrow angle and posed no danger as he shot straight into the goalkeepers pads.

India forced two consecutive penalty corners in the 13th minute, but goalkeeper Charter averted danger by palming away V.R. Raghunaths rising flick.

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