Australia tame fighting India

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Australia beat India 2-1 in the finals of the Australia Challenge Invitational hockey tournament in Perth.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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India squandered an early lead and conceded two goals in the last five minutes to suffer a 1-2 defeat against Australia in the final of the three-nation invitational hockey tournament in Perth today. Dominating the proceedings from the beginning, India took the lead in the 12th minute when veteran striker Baljit Singh Dhillon converted a short corner. Despite outshining the hosts for most part of the game, the visitors failed to hold their nerve when it mattered most -- conceding two goals in a span of five minutes in the dying minutes. First it was Jamie Dwyer who equalised from a short corner in the 65th minute before Michael McCann scored an opportunistic goal a minute before the final whistle to notch up a thrilling win for the home side. The rain-marred match witnessed much drama in the dying moments when a charging Kanwalpreet Singh failed to clear a Nathan Eglington shot near the goalmouth as he slipped in a bid to stop the ball. McCann, waiting near the post, wasted no time in banging in the winner much to the delight of the home crowd. A disappointed Indian coach Rajinder Singh said after the match that despite the loss his team deserves praise for playing brilliantly throughout the tournament. "We played really well though we were unfortunate to concede the goal in the last moment. I am quite happy with the way the boys played today," he said. (PTI)

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