Indian women produced a good performance in the ongoing Hockey World League Semifinals even though they suffered a 4-2 loss to World Cup silver medallists Australia after a gritty fight in their last preliminary league outing in Antwerp, Belgium on Saturday.
Australia were served well by their penalty corner shooter Jodie Kenny, who completed a hat-trick of three penalty corner strikes and then added a goal through a penalty stroke conversion at the KHC Dragons Stadium.
India twice rallied to draw parity through goals from Vandana Katariya and Poonam Rani.
India's loss left them at the fourth spot among five teams in Pool B, which was topped by New Zealand, who defeated hosts Belgium 2-0 on Saturday to complete an all-win record in the league outings.
Australia finished second and Belgium took the third place in the group.
Finishing with three points from four matches, India now meet world champions The Netherlands in the quarterfinals.
World's top-ranked Netherlands hammered Italy to take their place atop Pool A with an all win-record, while Asian Games winners South Korea got the second spot in the group after prevailing 1-0 over Japan.
The Indian eves, ranked 13th in the world, kept pace with their second-ranked opponents, who benefited from the penalty corner conversion prowess of Kenny.
Australia took the lead in the second minute from their second penalty corner as Jodie sounded the board with a low drag-flick.
India stunned their fancied rivals to draw parity in the fifth minute when Deepika's firm shot for top of the circle was deflected by diving Katariya into the Australian net.
Kenny sent another drag-flick into the boards in the sixth minute to put Australia into the lead again, after which the Indian girls put sustained pressure on their rivals' circle.