Australia’s hockey males should wait till subsequent yr’s Olympics to climb again to the hockey summit after essentially the most agonising of World Cup exits for the Kookaburras in India.
Coach Colin Batch’s group appeared shell-shocked as they trooped off the pitch in Bhubaneswar on Friday, crushed 4-3 by outdated rivals Germany with their dream of one other international closing look shattered by a objective simply six seconds from the tip.
In a unprecedented end, the Kookaburras, regardless of being outplayed for a lot of the match, edged right into a 3-2 lead with two minutes 35 seconds left and appeared poised to pip the Germans simply as they’d within the Tokyo Olympics semi-final.
However they then succumbed to the drag-flick maestro, Gonzalo Peillat, the one-time Argentine Olympic champ-turned-German citizen, who accomplished a second-half hat-trick of penalty corners with simply 1:42 left on the clock.
There was nearly an inevitability about one other well-known German comeback win as participant of the match Niklas Wellen struck the winner simply when a penalty shootout appeared a certainty.
However the Kookaburras, one of many world’s nice sports activities groups who’ve no longer landed the World Cup nor Olympic title since 2014, might don’t have any complaints.
Extra passive than their opponents, they might have been the authors of their very own downfall when, with simply 13 seconds left, Tom Craig received his marching orders for a second inexperienced card offence amid some determined scrambling in defence.
With Australia all the way down to 10, which will have made all of the distinction as Wellen received free to latch on to Peillat’s cross and convert with the clock studying 59 minutes 54 seconds.
“It doesn’t matter what you ask, I don’t know the reply,” beamed Wellen, pondering how on earth Germany had escaped simply as they’d in opposition to England within the quarter-final when clawing again late from two down earlier than profitable a shoot-out.
“Towards England, 55 minutes had been principally garbage and we turned it round with numerous luck within the final minutes,” reckoned Wellen.
“However as we speak we performed an important sport. Australia are so harmful on counter assaults and so they made use of that, however we imagine in one another and I knew once we went 3-2 down, we’d get one probability at the very least to tie it up.
“However turning it throughout in common time was loopy.”
Germany had largely dominated and created the lion’s share of probabilities in opposition to the world No 1 Kookaburras however had been nonetheless 2-0 down by an eleventh minute penalty nook from the event’s main scorer Jeremy Hayward and a counter-attack end from Nathan Ephraums simply earlier than halftime.
It was Hayward’s 99th objective for Australia in his 199th look and he prolonged his tournament-leading tally to eight.
However the Germans, who had remarkably pulled again one other two-goal deficit within the dying minutes in opposition to England within the quarter-final, levelled with two penalty nook strikes from Peillat both facet of the tip of the third quarter.
Blake Govers then produced a superb excessive drag flick to present Australia the late lead – his 127th objective for his nation – but it surely solely compelled the Germans to take off their goalkeeper in a determined and profitable late comeback surge.
In Sunday’s closing, the Germans will meet reigning champions Belgium, who later defeated their Netherlands neighbours 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out after the match completed 2-2.
The Kookaburras could discover it exhausting to awaken themselves earlier on Sunday for a third-place match in opposition to the Dutch.