All the news, results and features from India's 2018 Champions Trophy campaign, held from June 23 to July 1 in Breda, Netherlands
India lose final in shootout
Australia defeated India 3-1 via a shootout after both teams were level at 1-1 in regulation time to clinch their second consecutive Champions Trophy hockey title on Sunday. Australia took the lead in the 24th minute through a penalty corner conversion by Blake Govers, but India drew parity in the 42nd minute through a goal by Vivek Prasad.
Australian goalkeeper Tyler Lovell then made three saves in the shootout to help his team win the title. Hosts Netherlands won the bronze by defeating Olympic champions Argentina 2-0 in the third-fourth place play-off match earlier in the day.
Gritty India book spot in final
India produced a performance of grit and determination, especially as a defensive unit, to hold Netherlands to a 1-1 draw in Breda on Saturday and book their berth in their second successive Champions Trophy final.
India went into their match against the hosts needing just a point, but started the first half with good pace in attack, pressing Netherlands in numbers and also showing good pace in counters. They were rewarded for their perseverance only in the third quarter, though, as Mandeep Singh scored his third goal of the tournament after a Harmanpreet Singh penalty corner rebounded off the Dutch defence to him.
India were able to keep the lead 10 minutes into the final quarter, but Thierry Brinkman scored a goal from the narrowest of angles past PR Sreejesh to give the hosts a lifeline. India themselves were lucky when Jeroen Hertzberger sounded the board behind Sreejesh in the penultimate minute of the match, but the video referral by the on-field umpires suggested that the free-hit leading up to the goal had not travelled the required five metres.
India will face Australia in the final, a team that had beaten them 3-2 in the pool stages and via shootout in the 2016 final in London.
Defensive masterclass helps India draw vs. Belgium
India produced a near-masterclass of defensive hockey, with PR Sreejesh leading the way in goal with some spectacular saves, as Belgium held India to a dramatic 1-1 draw in the Champions Trophy in Breda on Thursday. India now need just a point against hosts Netherlands in their next pool game on June 30 to qualify for the final.
India took the lead through a Harmanpreet Singh penalty corner (PC) in the 10th minute, and dominated most of the play in the first two quarters. Forward Mandeep Singh could have put the game to bed in the third quarter, but his attempted tip-in behind goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch went just wide of the post. In the 43rd minute, Mandeep converted one of the passes into a successful deflection, but the goal was disallowed because of a foul in the Belgian defensive zone.
Belgium upped the ante in the final quarter, as India looked to defend with all 11 players inside their half, and the Olympic silver-medallists earned 11 PCs in all. Sreejesh combined with runner Manpreet and defenders Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas and Birendra Lakra to keep the opposition at bay.
The only goal Belgium got was through kicking full-back Loick Luypaert, though replays suggested the PC was given despite a foul on Harmanpreet inside the Indian circle. There was 'insufficient evidence' to overturn the on-field umpire's decision, and Luypaert tucked the ball low to the right of Sreejesh, who had earlier kept out the dangerous Tom Boon, Thomas Briels and John-John Dohmen with some terrific reflexes.
Late fightback not enough for India against Australia
India produced a late fightback against Australia, but paid the price for a phase of poor discipline, losing 3-2 to suffer their first defeat in three matches in Breda. Lachlan Sharp (6th minute), Tom Craig (15th) and Trent Mitton (33rd) scored field goals for Australia, while India found a goal from Varun Kumar (10th) and Harmanpreet Singh, operating as a kicking-full back, who converted one of nine penalty corners (PCs) earned by India.
For India, their lack of discipline in the first half would prove costly, with Sardar Singh, Harmanpreet and SV Sunil all earning green cards in the first two quarters. India's Sunil and Australia's Jake Harvie were given cards together on the verge of half-time, but India had 11 players on the pitch, and accordingly captain Manpreet Singh had to be shown a yellow card and suspended for five minutes as the third quarter began.
Australia got a pivotal third goal in that phase, but India showed resolve in creating several openings in the final quarter. Sunil, Vivek Prasad and Jarmanpreet Singh all created scoring opportunities, but were guilty of hitting just wide of the target. Australian goalkeeper Tyler Lovell had a good outing as well, blocking several shots in open play, and effecting three saves out of four PCs won by India inside the last three minutes of play, including one with 57 seconds on the clock.
India stun Olympic champions Argentina 2-1
It would not be an exaggeration to suggest India gave Argentina a taste of their own medicine on day two of the Champions Trophy in Breda, Netherlands on Sunday in the course of a 2-1 win. The Indians showed virtues of defensive organisation, individual brilliance and smart reading of the game that the reigning Olympic champions have used to good effect lately, including in their last meeting at an FIH event against India in Bhubaneswar last December. Harmanpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh got them the goals, but the way they got there suggests coach Harendra Singh's men have a good chance of matching, perhaps even bettering, their previous tournament-best runners-up finish from 2016.
India thrash Pakistan 4-0 in opener
India decimated arch-rivals Pakistan 4-0 in the opening match of the Champions Trophy on Saturday. Coming into the tournament on the back of a disastrous Commonwealth Games campaign, the Indians scored four fantastic field goals to make it a winning start for coach Harendra Singh, who was appointed to replace Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne following India's fourth-place finish at Gold Coast.
India started positively and, after a couple of missed chances, broke the deadlock in the 26th minute, when Ramandeep Singh deflected in Simranjeet Singh's reverse pass. After going into halftime trailing by a goal, Pakistan dominated the third quarter but failed to break down a resolute Indian defence. India doubled their lead in the 54th minute through Dilpreet Singh before Mandeep Singh and Lalit Upadhayay gave India two more goals in the last three minutes for a dominant win.