Last minute goal costs Australia direct access to championship match
24 Apr 2008 13:37
A last minute goal to India has denied the Kookaburras direct access to the championship match of the Perth 4 Nations Tournament with their round two match resulting in a draw.
The Kookaburras will now need to win their round three match on Saturday against Korea to guarantee a spot in the championship match.
The first half emerged as an intense affair, with both teams taking several minutes to settle into the game.
With the majority of the play taking place in the midfield there were very few penalty corner attempts and it seemed unlikely either team would manage a first half goal.
However India managed to pull away to an early lead at the 27 minute mark after a penalty corner attempt found its way in the back of the net.
Despite finding themselves a goal down the Kookaburras stuck to their game plan and almost found the perfect reply only minutes later thanks to an impressive dribble through the circle from Liam DeYoung. However his cross was unable to find a teammate and the Indian defense received a let off.
The Kookaburras continued to push with the ball spending the last few minutes of the half in the Kookaburras circle, however they were unable to find an equalizing goal at the half time break.
Momentum remained with the Kookaburras throughout the early stages of the second half, however a lack of polish around goals resulted in several scoring opportunities going unfulfilled.
Eventually the Kookaburras found the equalizer they were desperately searching for thanks to a tremendous tackle from Rob Hammond which lead to a field goal to Grant Schubert.
Keen to make the most of their momentum the Kookaburras struck again soon after, with Schubert again finding the back of the net to hand the Kookaburras the lead.
This strung India into attack as they found themselves trailing for the first time in the match. However after withstanding several penalty corner attempts the Kookaburras soon regained control of the match and were unlucky not to score again after several impressive offensive plays.
Just when it seemed the Kookaburras had secured victory India were awarded a penalty corner. Despite the best efforts of the Kookaburra defense they were unable to stop the play.
With only 30 seconds remaining on the clock a draw was inevitable.
All four teams now have the opportunity to force their way into the championship match on Sunday, with the Kookaburras now needing to defeat Korea in their round three match this Saturday to confirm a spot in the championship match.
While a victory will guarantee them a spot in the championship match, a loss could also see them qualify depending on other results and goal difference.
Kookaburras 2 India 2 (0-1 half time)
Goals - India Xalxo 27m PC, Aus Schubert 51m FG/ 52m FG, India Raghunath 70m PC
Source: Hockey Australia