Cologne: India survived last minute scares to defeat Australia 3-2 on Tuesday and register their first victory in the Champions Trophy hockey meet.
The World Cup runners-up Australia had no one to blame for the defeat as they failed to score even once from 16 penalty corners.
The Indian victory was possible due to some brilliant saving by goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan after the defence came under immense pressure following a 3-1 lead 16 minutes into the second half.
Chauhan managed to thwart several attacks on the post as he came off the line early to deny the Australians more time to convert the penalty corners.
In the first ten minutes of the match, the Aussies earned two penalty corners but it was India who scored the first goal of the day off a penalty stroke in the 12th minute.
India earned the stroke when a Gagan Ajit Singh shot was saved by Aussie goalkeeper Martin Leon and as the forwards moved in for the rebound, they were tackled by the Australian defenders. Jugraj Singh was on target with the stroke scooping to the left of the keeper to give India the lead.
Five minutes later, a counter-attack from the middle saw India increase their lead to 2-0.
Dhanraj Pillay picked up the ball in the midfield and passed it to Prabhjot Singh who flicked it for Deepak Thakur whose powerful shot beat Martin completely.
In the 19th minute, Scott Webster, playing an attacking game, got one past the Indian goalkeeper for the first Australian goal.
At the break Australia had missed as many as six penalty corners.In the second half, India played defensively as Aussies continued their domination in the field. But the Australians continued to fail with penalty corners and wasted three of them within 15 minutes of the second half.
However, India scored off the first penalty corner they got in the 51st minute to increase their lead to 31. Captain Dilip Tirkey who took the hit in place of an injured Jugraj Singh, hit the ball firm, but it was deflected into the post by Gagan Ajit Singh.
Holland beat Pakistan
In another match, Olympic champions Holland continued their winning run with a 3-1 victory against Pakistan.
Holland faced tough opposition in the midfield. However, the penalty corners were just too good for goalkeeper Ahmed Alam. Taeke Taekema converted two penalty corners.
Holland then made it 3-0 when Teun de Nooijer slammed home a field goal.
Pakistan got a consolation goal when Mohammed Nadeem scored from a penalty corner in the last minute of the match.