New Delhi: A clinical Australian team dashed India's hopes of reaching the Champions Trophy final as their skipper Jamie Dwyer scored twice to lead a comprehensive 3-0 win and set up a title clash with Netherlands who beat Pakistan. Losing semi-finalists India and Pakistan will now play for a bronze on Sunday.
India were never in the match as Australia started storming the Indian circle from the word go. A field goal by Dwyer followed another by the Aussie skipper within just 10 minutes of start when the hosts were awarded a penalty stroke. Kieran Govers then put the game beyond India with his strike in the second half.
Australia went into the match trying to prove a point after failing to win the Olympic gold, while India wanted to overturn their last-place finish in London by assuring themselves a medal.
But Dwyer struck in the 6th minute off a rebound on a penalty corner to give his team an early lead and then cushioned it with another in the 18th off a stroke. India tried but were never allowed to take a clear look at the Australian goal before half-time.
Govers struck within the first 10 minutes of the second half - in the 44th - off a field goal to further strengthen the hosts' hold on the match.
Australia never allowed India's star midfielder and captain Sardar Singh to control the game, while the Indian forwards continued to fumble and lose control. Australia's dominance could be further gauged by their 19 shots at goal compared to India's 3. They also enjoyed 30 circle penetrations, while India had just 13.
Australia will now go for a record five consecutive Champions Trophy titles, while India hope to break their 30-year wait for another Champions Trophy medal.
India take on Pakistan at 8 a.m. IST on Sunday, followed by the final between Australia and Netherlands at 10:30 a.m. IST.