Belgium Beat Kookaburras on Sudden Death Shoot Out to Win World League in Rotterdam

KOOKABURRAS 2-2 (HT: 1-0) BELGIUM*
For Kookaburras: Chris Ciriello 21 (PC), Russell Ford 70 (F)
For Belgium: Tom Boon 49 (F), Sebastien Dockier 59 (F)
*Belgium win 7-6 after a sudden death shoot-out 

In a dramatic final at the World League in Rotterdam, the Kookaburras came out on the wrong side of an enthralling 2-2 draw and a sudden death shoot out against Belgium. Earlier in the day, Netherlands and Spain defeated New Zealand and India to finish at 3rd and 5th place respectively.

Russell Ford - Kookaburras (Australia Men's) Hockey Player (Photo Credit: Raghu Prasad RV)

File Phot of Ford who scored equallizer in 70th minute (Credits: Raghu Prasad RV)

For much of the match the Kookaburras battered the Belgian defence but despite goals from Chris Ciriello and Russell Ford, a textbook goalkeeping performance by Belgium’s Vincent Vanasch and the faintest of saves from his replacement Jeremy Gucassoff in the shoot-out denied the Australian men victory.

Head Coach Ric Charlesworth admitted afterwards his side had enough chances to win the game but said they had achieved two of three of their pre-tournament ambitions. “It’s a disappointing way to lose but we can only blame ourselves,” he said. “We had the chances but we didn’t take them; we even had chances to win it in the shoot-out. We had six penalty corners to their one but the goalkeeper made a lot of good saves and we put one past our own goalkeeper, too. Continue reading →