India's dream of winning their maiden gold in hockey came crashing on Thursday as World Champions Australia annihilated the hosts 8-0. With the win, the team also became only the second in any sport to win four consecutive CWG gold medals after the New Zealand rugby side.
The Australians kept their best for the last. Despite showing a marked improvement over the course of the tournament, India had no answers whatsoever. India began well enough, and in the first 15 minutes even had the better of the exchanges. The first penalty corner went to the hosts as well. But the chances were squandered.
Jason Wilson scored his side's first in the 19th minute. And that opened the floodgates. The National Stadium may have been packed, but it was also eerily silent. The second came off the stick of defender Chris Chiriello, from a penalty corner.
Wilson bagged his second of the game after losing his marker and thumping it past Indian custodian Bharat Chettri. The Indian defence was in a state of disarray to say the least. Short corner specialist Luke Doerner closed the first session with a superbly executed routine. At the end of the half, the Aussies were 4-0 up.
After the breather, Ric Charlesworth's side looked intent on repeating the scoring pattern. Coming back from the deficit was always going to be tough, but in the event, there wasn't even a contest. The Indians didn't nearly do enough to upset Nathan Burgers' clean sheet. The visitors added four more. Apart from a single goal scored from a short corner, converted by Doerner, the rest came through playmaking brilliance. Simon Orchard (60'), skipper Jamie Dwyer (66') and Glenn Turner (70') made a mockery of the Indian defence.
For India it was a case of looking at the positives. After a disastrous few months, for the side to have convincingly beaten Pakistan, and then come back from behind to get past England, was a feat. For now, the team can be pleased with the silver, but clearly they have a lot of work to do.
New Zealand, who were thrashed 6-2 by Australia earlier, beat England in yet another penalty shootout to claim the third spot.