India Australia hockey
India enjoyed good possession, but failed to score goals in regulation time. Representational image.Reuters

India lost their Champions Trophy final against Australia in the penalty shootout, resulting in a silver medal finish on Friday. India's SK Uthappa, SV Sunil and Surender Kumar missed their chances in the penalty shootout to hand Australia the gold medal. The final score read 3-1 in penalty shootout, as no goals were produced in the sixty minutes of regulation time.

But there was plenty of drama after Australia had emerged victorious in the shootout. India filed a complaint against the second penalty from Daniel Beale, which had been saved by Sreejesh. But after a referral,  Beale was allowed a retake, and he scored. India protested, stating Sreejesh had obstructed after the hooter had blown.

Such a rare event delayed proceedings, and made matters complicated. The official result, which came around an hour after the final, stated Australia as champions. 

Though India might have lost in the final, they should be proud of their performance in Champions Trophy 2016 final, where their defence stood firm, not allowing Australia to score a single goal for sixty minutes. India, in fact, dominated the game enjoying quality possession, but failed to find the back of the net despite their chances at goal.

The first few minutes of the first quarter was tight, with both teams not giving an inch to the other, and neither goalkeeper were tested in the first five minutes. Sunil was using his pace against Australia defence, but India could not penetrate the circle much. 

The first best chance fell to India's Uthappa, who could not hit the target in the ninth minute, and Australia also failed to open their scoring despite getting four penalty corners in succession in the first quarter. Likewise, India failed to convert two penalty corners of their own in the next few minutes.

After an entertaining first quarter, the next 15 minutes also did not disappoint, with India and Australia keen to break the deadlock. And Australia missed a golden chance to take lead in the 18th minute as Blake Govers missed a penalty stroke. The Australia player hit it wide.

India's brilliant defence looked well prepared for the final, defending solidly, and making life difficult for Australia's offensive players. Australia were earning penalty corners at will, and Sreejesh was standing tall, denying Aussies a lead. The match was end-to-end stuff, though, there were no goals to show for their efforts.

India were trying to score goals on the counter, as Australia were creating spaces at the back with most of their players in India's half, giving Sunil a chance to take on the Aussies. India, who were well supported by the crowd in London, were inching closer towards the goal in the close encounter. Despite some chances to both teams in the third quarter, it ended 0-0.

Not only did India defend well, Australia's defence also stood firm in the final. India came close to goal in the opening minutes of the final quarter, but Australia goalkeeper saved Akashdeep Singh's strike. Chants of 'India, India, India' grew louder in the fourth quarter as well, with fans hoping to inspire India for the all-important winning goal, which did not materialise. 

With the score reading 0-0 after the end of four quarters, the final went into a penalty shoot out, which ended in favour of Australia, 3-1. 

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