Odisha Hockey World League Final : Australia retains title: Defending champions Australia proved themselves to be number one hockey outfit of the world. In a pulsating final of the Odisha Hockey World League Final played before a packed Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Australia defeated Olympic champions and world number one Argentina 2-1 to retain their “double”.
The Aussies are World Cup champions also. They will return to Bhubaneswar next year, both as World Cup champions as well as World Hockey League champions.
In the last edition of the World Hockey League, they had beaten Belgium 2-1 in the final. Incidentally, Argentina and Belgium were the finalists in the last summer Olympic games in Rio where Australia had failed to qualify for the semis.
Todays’ win was not easy as the South Americans and Pan-American game champions Argentina went all out in last few minutes to get the equaliser. They forced a series of penalty corners but without success.
Earlier, India beat Germany 2-1 to take the bronze.
One of the best organised teams in action here, Aussies took every game in accordance with its significance. After playing draws in all three pool games, they took the knock out round as a completely transformed side, defeating Germany, for example, 3-0 in the semis.
It may be a different story that Germany was unlucky as it had injury and sickness problems because of which it could not field its full strength in the crucial medal round games. But that did not deny the significance of splendid wins Australians recorded in the medal round.