The world number one men’s hockey team paid the price for too many missed shots on goal against a determined Argentina today and were lucky to walk away with a 2-all draw.
The Kookaburras dominated the match but only converted two goals from 21 shots, leaving the door open for their opposition to stay in the match.
To its credit, Argentina continued to press and worked the ball around well, with its goalie Juan Manuel Vivaldi best on field in a brilliant display.
The Australians lost their video referral in the opening minutes and were unable to challenge a decision for the rest of the match, which ended up being a huge disadvantage.
Australia opened the scoring when Matthew Butturini fired home a rebound off a Chris Ciriello drag flick and momentum was flowing the Australian’s way.
Matthew Gohdes and Glenn Turner showed creative flair and skill and created opportunities but the Kookaburras could add just one more goal to their tally before the break.
,Jamie Dwyer made an easy tap in, 44 seconds before half-time to become the Kookaburras highest goal scorer in history.
The 33-year old, five-time World Player of the Year, surpassed former Kookaburra Mark Hager’s record scoring 180 goals from 281 matches. Hager scored 179 from 230 matches.
But the milestone was overshadowed when the Argentinians started to mount a comeback, first scoring on the counter attack and then equalising off a penalty corner with two minutes to go.
At 2-all a third penalty corner perhaps should have been awarded but the video referral deemed there was no foot in the circle, which created a heated exchange after the match between players and officials.
Australia played with ten players when Mark Knowles was sidelined for dissent with less than two minutes to go and the Kookaburras were lucky not to lose.
It was certainly a reality check but the boys will be back in action against Great Britain in what is sure to be a terrific showdown with the host nation! It’s an early one though 4am(AEST)
AUSTRALIA 2 dw Argentina 2
Australian Goals: Matthew Butturini FG 11m, Jamie Dwyer FG 35m
Best Players: Jamie Dwyer, Glenn Turner, Matt Gohdes, Fergus Kavanagh
Hockey Australia Press Release