Rosario: Rani Rampal's double strike went in vain as India suffered their second consecutive defeat in the women's hockey World Cup, losing 3-6 to Australia in a Pool-A match here.
For the Hockeyroos, it was their second successive win of the tournament and they are well on course for semifinals of the quadrennial event.
Ashleigh Nelson (34th and 58th minute) scored two goals for Australia late last night while Madonna Blyth (17th), Casey Eastham (52nd), Nicole Arrold (55th) and Shelly Liddelow (64th) found the net once each.
For India, Rampal continued her impressive showing upfront, scoring in the 17th and 62nd minute while Ritu Rani (42nd) managed the other goal.
The Surinder Kaur-led India are still without points in the tournament after suffering two defeats out of as many matches and will take on Germany in their next pool match on Friday, while the Australians will be up against title-holders, the Netherlands.
Unlike their tournament opener which they lost 1-7 against defending champions Netherlands, India came out more organised against the Hockeyroos.
However, extreme cold conditions had a telling effect on the game in the initial stages as both the teams looked scrappy and were guilty of giving away possession easily.
But slowly and steadily Australia got into their groove and started to control the proceedings which resulted in the opening goal of the match.
The Aussies took the lead in the 17th minute through their captain Blyth who scored her second goal of the tournament from open play.
But India drew parity five minutes from the end of the first period through the 15-year-old Rampal who scored with a beautiful reverse stick shot. But Australia regained the lead at the stroke of halftime when Nelson slammed home the ball from a penalty corner.
After the change of ends, India once again hit back through Ritu Rani's field goal in the 42nd minute.
However, instead of stepping up the gas from there, India conceded three goals in six minutes with Eastham, Arrold and Nelson, who scored her second, finding the target to give Australia a comfortable 5-2 lead.
Eight minutes from the hooter, Rampal reduced the margin with her second strike of the day before Liddelow's field goal sealed the match in Australia's favour.
Meanwhile in other matches of the day, Netherlands mauled New Zealand 7-3 while Germany scrapped past Japan 2-1.