Glasgow: A lacklustre India were on Sunday outclassed 0-4 by Olympic and world champions Australia in the men’s hockey final to settle for a silver medal, their second consecutive, in the Commonwealth Games on Sunday.
Chris Ciriello scored a hat-trick by converting three penalty corners in the 13th, 29th and 48th minutes, while Eddie Ockenden got the fourth goal in the 51st minute in the summit clash played under heavy downpour at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.
Even though the two teams are class apart, it was an ideal opportunity for eight-time Olympic champions India to avenge their 0-8 thrashing at the hands of mighty Australia in the 2010 edition of the Games in New Delhi.
But it was not to be as Australia produced a clinical performance and completely dominated the match by scoring two goals in each half to secure their fifth consecutive Commonwealth Games title since the introduction of hockey in the quadrennial event in 1998, where India finished fourth.
Starting as underdogs, there was nothing to lose for the Indian team in the gold medal match against a formidable opponent like Australia, who beat them 4-2 in the group stages. But the Sardar Singh-led side failed to live up to the tall ask as the Aussies controlled the match from start to finish.
The Indian defence performed below par and conceded soft penalty corners from which the Australians scored thrice to take the game away from their opponents.
In the entire 70 minutes, the Indians failed to create a clear chance and also muffed the two penalty corners that came their way.
Captain Sardar Singh’s return after serving a one-match suspension failed to inspire the team against the quick-passing Australians. The Kookaburras found space and penetrated the Indian defence on numerous occasions. The Indians, on the other hand, showed glimpses of brilliance with some bright moves but the Aussie defence was too hard to break.
S V Sunil got to chance to surge India ahead but he shot wide a half chance from inside the Australian circle in the fourth minute before Nikkin Chandanda Thimmaiah failed to take a shot under pressure.
As expeceted, the Kookaburras took the lead in the 13th minute from their first penalty corner of the match.
Ciriello’s drag-flick found the edge of Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh’s outstretched legs before hitting the net.
Arpinder Singh won a bronze in the men's triple jump. The Indian athletics team was hoping for a medal from Arpinder after he leapt a brilliant 17.17m in June and he lived upto the expectations by winning a bronze with a best jump of 16.63m.