“We knew in the first half we had the chances and created a lot of them. The players played according to the process. There was some problem in the penalty corner execution on the other end of the pitch as it was a bit bumpy,” said Australian head coach Brent Livermore.
His Indian counterpart, Jude Felix Sebastian, said: “I am very disappointed with this defeat. We were in the lead and should have taken the opportunity to win this match. Nevertheless we are still in the running for a place in the final.”
Joel Rintala had fired Australia ahead in the third minute from a penalty corner strike but the celebrations did not last long as India clawed back with goals from Sanjay in the ninth minute via a penalty corner conversion and Dilpreet Singh’s open play strike on the stroke of first half.
India went into the third quarter leading 2-1 but the Australians turned on the heat through team captain Coby Green’s 36th minute field goal to level 2-2 before Jonathan Bretherton extended the score line 3-2 via a penalty corner.
But the Indians were back on track just two minutes on resumption of the, fourth quarter. Dilpreet, the tournament’s most outstanding goal poacher, restored India’s pride with a well-placed shot past goalkeeper George McGeaoch to once again draw level at 3-3. It was Dilpreet’s ninth goal in the tournament.
In a nail-biting finish, it was the Australians who took the opportunities well. Nathan Ephraum delivered the final blow from Australia’s seventh penalty corner of the match to stay on top of the reigning Junior World Cup and two-time SOJC champions.
For the Australians, the victory comes as a big boost in their hopes of qualifying for Sunday’s final after suffering a shock 4-2 defeat against Great Britain 24 hours earlier.
India’s campaign began with a 3-2 win over Japan, edged Malaysia 2-1 and pummelled United States of America 22-0 on Wednesday. The Australians, on hand, demolished USA 19-0, defeated Japan 4-0 but lost 4-2 against Great Britain 4-2.