Australia lost to Great Britain in a 4-3 shootout after regulation time ended in a 2-2 draw in London on Sunday night.
Kookaburra Head Coach Colin Batch said there was a lot to learn from a game well played by Great Britain.
“We found it difficult to establish our game in the first half, while our third quarter was very good. We needed to do more with the opportunities we created and our momentum really stalled in the last quarter. There were some great lessons for us to take into our future matches in Europe,” Batch said.
Australia came from behind twice through goals to Jake Harvie and Tim Brand, though a yellow card to Tom Craig late in the final quarter made for a nervous finish to regulation time.
The opening quarter was a display of rapid, end-to-end hockey, with both teams making dashing runs up and down the pitch regularly.
Zachary Wallace opened the scoring for the home team in the seventh minute, nudging the ball past Tyler Lovell to get the home crowd up on their feet.
Jake Harvie then demonstrated his gut running ability by winning the ball in the heart of defence, making the run up the entire length of the field, and finishing with a deft touch between goalkeeper Gibson’s legs.
Great Britain won a series of three penalty corners partway through the second quarter, and they made the third one count via Christopher Griffiths who fired his team back into the lead.
Australia won a penalty corner early in the third quarter, but a poor injection wasted the chance. Fortunately, it did not prove to be immediately costly as Tim Brand scored with a desperate left-hand lunge to equal the scores once again.
Brand quickly found himself with an opportunity for a second, however his brilliant turn and shot was denied by Pinner.
A fierce challenge from Eddie Ockenden earned himself a green card and Great Britain a penalty corner in the 48th minute, however the resultant shot was wide of Lovell’s post.
The Kookaburras created a number of chances in the final quarter but the Great Britain defence held them at bay.
Australia were crucially down a man for the entirety of the last five minutes after Tom Craig was yellow carded in the 55th minute.
Great Britain made a desperate last attacking run in the dying seconds, but the shot was wide, and the shootout confirmed.
The shootout was a thriller, with both goalkeepers desperately trying to keep their sides in it. In the end, the home team won out to the delight of the vocal crowd.
Australia 2 (Harvie 12’, Brand 36’)
Great Britain 2 (Wallace 7’, Griffiths 25’)
Australia: 3 (Zalewski, Ogilvie, Craig)
Great Britain: 4 (Dixon, Roper, Ames, Martin)