Ipoh, March 6: India almost moved out of the race to reach the fil of the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tourment after losing 2-4 to reigning world champions Australia on Tuesday, thereby remaining winless in three matches so far here.
Ramandeep Singh (52nd and 53rd minutes) scored twice for India after Australia were 4-0 up, thanks to Mark Knowles (28th minute, pelty stroke), Aran Zalewski (35th), Daniel Beale (41st) and Blake Govers (43rd, pelty corner) as the world No.1 side registered its third consecutive victory.
India, who lost to Argenti in the opening match before playing a 1-1 draw with England, faced a must-win situation against the mighty Australian side.
Aware of India's counter-attacking strength, Australia kept their defensive structure tight as the current Asian champions applied pressure.
In the other matches of the day, England outplayed Ireland to jump to the fourth spot with four points, while Malaysia upset Olympic champions Argenti 2-1 to jump to the second spot with six points -- same as Argenti but ahead due to the win.
India will face hosts Malaysia in a tricky encounter. IANS