This weekend the Hockeyroos face Belgium, a team that proved a bogey side in 2019 and surprised many to finish fifth in last year’s Pro League campaign, defeating the Australians both home and abroad.
Backing up against the Belgians a day after upsetting world champions the Netherlands in Melbourne, Hockeyroos forward Brooke Peris’ goal late on was worth the price of admission alone.
It threatened to bring the Hockeyroos back from the brink but came to no avail after second half goals to Belgium pair Michelle Struijk and Louise Versavel had given them a 2-0 advantage.
In the return fixture in Belgium, the hosts again took the honours after the Hockeyroos had a goal disallowed on video review and failed to convert a host of penalty corner opportunities.
To add insult to injury, the Belgians converted their only set piece of the match through Ambre Ballenghein to complete the clean sweep.
The Kookaburras and Hockeyroos’ commence their respective Olympic years with double headers against Belgium in Sydney this weekend on 25/26 January, followed by Great Britain on 1/2 February.
Story by Adam Clifford