Chris Ciriello, Simon Orchard, veteran Jamie Dwyer and Glenn Turner also contributed goals on either side of halftime against a clueless Indian defence. —AFP Photo
Australian women's hockey team members celebrate after winning the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. Photo: R.V. Moorthy
WORLD champion Australia capped its fourth successive Commonwealth Games gold medal win by thrashing India 8-0 in the men’s field hockey final Thursday, silencing a capacity crowd that came hoping for an upset win for the host nation.
Jason Wilson and Luke Doerner scored two goals apiece, while Chris Ciriello, Simon Orchard, veteran Jamie Dwyer and Glenn Turner also contributed goals on either side of halftime against an outclassed Indian defense.
It was India’s biggest ever defeat in international tournament after losing the 1982 Asian Games final to Pakistan 7-1 at the same venue.
The gold medal completed a perfect year for the Kookaburras, who also won the World Cup in March and the Champions Trophy in August.
Indian National Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were among a capacity crowd of 19,000 at the MDC Stadium, but they had little to cheer their home team.
New Zealand defeated European champion England 5-3 on penalty strokes to clinch bronze medal after both teams were level at 3-3 in regulation time and the extra time could not produce a golden goal.
“We were effective in our defense and also took our chances effectively in attacking circle,” Dwyer said. “After that (4-0) halftime lead, it was all over.”
Early morning heat affected the home team more than the Australians as India had played all its pool matches under floodlights and also won the semifinal against England on Tuesday afternoon.
Wilson’s reverse strike from the top of the circle shot the Kookaburas ahead in 19th minute and only two minutes later Ciriello rasping drag flick off second penalty corner went into top of the net.
“They haven’t played in this heat and it’s difficult to catch up once you take a two goals lead in these conditions,” Dwyer said.
Australia continued its charge with Wilson neatly deflecting the ball into the board and Luke Doerner made it 4-0 off a short corner just before the halftime.
The home crowd started to leave the stadium after the break — and Australia scored four more goals in the last 18 minutes.
“We committed mistakes one after the other and it cost us in the end,” Indian forward Arjun Halappa said.
Earlier, England forward Simon Mantell scored a hat-trick against New Zealand but Kiwis took the bronze by winning the third place playoff on penalty strokes.
After the score was locked at 3-3 and extra time failed to produce a golden goal, New Zealand was on target with all its five shots from the spot and goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex brilliantly stopped Adam Dixon’s third penalty stroke to clinch 5-3 win for the Kiwis.
Simon Mantell, who scored in the first half, had pushed the playoff into extra time with two late goals to draw level.
“We had fought hard for nearly two weeks and it’s great to have something in the end,” New Zealand captain Phil Burrows said. “It was a great game and I think the crowd had their money worth.”
New Zealand capitalized on both chances in the first 15 minutes when Dean Couzins converted an eighth-minute penalty stroke and Nick Haig sounded the board with an angular shot from the right flank.
England pulled one back when Mantell scored off a powerful reverse flick in the 25th minute.
New Zealand widened the lead in the 37th when Hayden Shaw was on target off the second penalty stroke, but was then reduced to 10 men when Steve Edwards was temporarily suspended for unintentionally hitting England skipper Barry Middleton in the face.
Edwards’ exit provided enough space for England’s forwards to penetrate the New Zealand defense time and again with Mantell brother — Simon and Richard — combining well to force the game into extra time.
Simon Mantell scored with deft touch from close range in the 57th minute and then completed his hat-trick nine minutes from time with a hard deflection that flew into the net.