The Kookaburras have displayed their gold medal credentials in emphatic style with a devastating 7-1 thrashing of India at the Tokyo Olympics.
Eight-time Olympic champions India was expected to provide Australia with a stern test after the Kookaburras’ slightly nervy 5-3 opening win over Japan.
But the Kookaburras showed just why they are the world’s top-rated team as goals from Daniel Beale, Jeremy Hayward, Flynn Oglivie and Joshua Beltz blew India away before half-time.
Blake Govers added two more, one a penalty stroke, to extend his remarkable international scoring record to 92 goals in 105 games before Tim Brand claimed a superb seventh.
— Kookaburras (@Kookaburras) July 25, 2021
India, ranked four in the world and coached by former Australia international Graham Reid, began their Games campaign with a 3-2 victory over New Zealand and Harmanpreet Singh saw his early effort disallowed.
But it was mostly one-way traffic after that, with Beale starting the goal rush nine minutes in at the Oi Hockey Stadium.
After India struggled to clear a penalty corner, Beale diverted Jacob Whetton’s shot into the corner of Parattu Sreejesh’s net for his 30th international goal.
Australia was rescued when Oglivie produced a brilliant goal-line clearance to deny Rupinder Pal Singh.
But the Kookaburras seized control in the second quarter as Hayward hammered home a penalty and Oglivie finished a sharp breakaway with a superb low finish.
Brand’s powerful run and cross set up the fourth as Joshua Beltz found the target with another brilliant effort.
India improved after the break and, aided by a green card for Aran Zalewski, reduced the deficit through Dilpreet Singh’s clever flick.
The Kookaburras had to ride an Indian storm before Govers scored twice in as many minutes and Brand rounded the hapless Sreejesh to seal victory.
The Kookaburras return to action against Argentina on Tuesday morning.