London: India's dream of entering their maiden Champions Trophy hockey final suffered a huge blow as they were defeated 2-4 by a dominant Australian side in their last league match here on Thursday.
After a unproductive first half, Australia struck a brace of goals to stay 2-0 in their favour going into the half time.
From there on, the Australians dominated and notched up yet another goal to take a 3-0 lead. But India woke up with a goal from Raghunath via a penalty corner conversion in the 44th minute to make it 3-1.
India played their best game in the last minute before the third quarter and within first two minutes of last quarter, but were quiet in the second quarter, and allowed the Aussie forwards to sneak through their defence and score freely.
Australia, who have already qualified for the final, sit comfortably at the top of the points table.
India now need to wait for the last match between Great Britain and Belgium, whose result can still offer a slim chance for them to get to the final.
Nevertheless, India will play in the bronze medal play-off match.