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Tokyo Olympics Hockey: India succumb to Kookaburras

11:34 PM Jul 25, 2021 | PTI

Tokyo: The Indian men's hockey team was pummelled 1-7 by world number one Australia in their second pool A match of the Olympic Games here on Sunday, a morale-shattering loss that exposed every possible chink in the side's armour.

The mighty Kookaburras simply toyed with the Indian defence after the first quarter and scored goals at will to comfortably secure their second consecutive win in the competition. For India, it was their biggest loss since Australian Graham Reid took charge of the team as coach in April 2019.

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Australia looked dominant and were in complete control from the onset, scoring goals through Daniel Beale (10th minute), Joshua Beltz (26th), Andrew Flynn Ogilvie (23rd), Jeremy Hayward (21st), Blake Govers (40th, 42nd) and Tim Brand (51st) to secure the easy win.

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India's lone goal came from the stick of Dilpreet Singh in the 34th minute.

India had earlier defeated New Zealand 3-2 in their opening fixture on Saturday.

The Manpreet Singh-led side will next play Spain on Tuesday.

The eight-time former champions looked completely off colour from the first whistle and the team's backline was put under relentless pressure by the Australians.

In the first quarter, the Indians put up a semblance of fight but in the next 15 minutes it was all Kookaburras, pumping goals at will.

However, it was India who had the first chance at the goal, earning a penalty corner in the eighth minute, but Harmanpreet Singh failed to execute from the set piece.

Two minutes later, Australia surged ahead when Beale deflected in Jacob Whetton's strike after a poor penalty corner execution.

A minute later, Dilpreet missed a golden chance from close range to level the scores.

India custodian PR Sreejesh then made a double save to keep the Australians at bay.

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