London, June 18 (IANS) The Champions Trophy final saw controversy and high drama when the Indian hockey team lodged a protest during the penalty shootout before finally settling for a historic silver after the jury announced that the 1-3 result against Australia would stay.
After the gutsy Indians held World champions Australia goalless in 60 minutes of regulation period, both teams headed for the penalty shootout to decide the eventual winners.
The shootout turned out to be controversial with India protesting against an infringement when Australia’s Daniel Beale’s attempt was allowed to go on for more than the stipulated 14 seconds. The score then was 1-0 in favour of Australia.
The tournament jury seemed to be in a fix when India filed an appeal against the video umpire’s decision to re-take the second attempt in the shootout.
It took the jury multiple replays to find a way out of the embarrassing situation that kept the result pending.
After an hour and a half of the match’s conclusion, the jury eventually discovered that the ball had rolled under Indian goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh’s pad for a couple of seconds.
The jury then cited this as the reason why the shootout was re-taken and declared the Kookaburas as the gold medallists.
Earlier, after the 60 minutes of regulation play remained goalless, Australian goalkeeper Tyler Lovell denied S.K. Uthappa, S.V. Sunil and Surender Kumar in the penalty shootout to drive Australia to their 14th Champions Trophy title — the most by any side.
Harmanpreet Singh was the only scorer for India, while Aran Zalewski, Daniel Beale, Simon Orchard succeeded for Australia. Sreejesh could only deny Trent Mitton.
However, it was India’s best performance in the history of the tournament. India’s previous best performance at the Champions Trophy was a bronze medal in 1982.