|August 5th, 2012|
|23||Pool A||7:00pm||GBR - AUS||3 - 3 (0 - 2)||Final||x 3|
Great Britain v. Australia 3-3 (first half: 0-2)
Group A is still wide open after Great Britain staged the best comeback of this Olympic hockey tournament to date, scoring three goals in a 19-minute span to recover from a three-goal deficit and draw current World Champion Australia, 3-3. James Tindall’s goal with 4:30 left in regulation capped the improbable comeback and threw the Group A standings back into chaos.
Australia and Great Britain now lead the hotly contested group with eight points, while Pakistan sits on seven points and Spain has four, but still has two games to play. It means the two semi-final spots all come down to Tuesday’s preliminary round finale when Australia takes on Pakistan and Great Britain faces Spain.
Australia took the early advantage thanks to two goals from Russell Ford coming three minutes apart. Ford struck eight minutes in, shooting the ball in off Great Britain goalkeeper James Fair. He followed up with Jonty Clarke sitting for a green card getting his stick on a ball bouncing through the D for the 2-0 lead.
The home supporters stuck with the team, letting up a hearty roar each time the ball crossed into the Aussie zone, but the defending World Champion had an answer to all of Great Britain’s chances.
Mark Knowles delivered a major blow to GB's hopes five minutes into the second half with his goal from the slot to up the Australian lead to three goals.
But just when it looked like Great Britain was down and out, they sparked to life when Jonty Clarke fed Christopher Ciriello from an odd angle to get GB on the board. Six minutes later things got interesting when the gap was closed to one after Barry Middleton deflected in a penalty corner to make it a 3-2 affair.
The goal brought the stadium and the Great Britain team back to life as they applied steady pressure in the Australian zone. Australia turned it’s game plan into survival mode, buckling down and playing defense, but when Knowles was whistled for a green card, Great Britain took full advantage and a streaking Tindall put in the equalizer sending the crowd and team into a frenzy.
Australia asked for a video referral on the goal, but it was clearly denied and the teams played out the last four minutes and closed the game in the 3-3 draw.
Australia entered the tournament looking invincible with an extremely strong start and every recent title under the sun, but the preliminary round action has chipped away at the armor and now they find themselves in an unusual tight spot for the last game of the group.
James TINDALL (GBR)
On scoring the equalising goal:
"It was a relief to get that third goal against such a great team in world hockey. It shows that we are up there and one of the best."
On the home crowd support:
"In every single game we've played they've been phenomenal; the best supporters anywhere, and always will be. They really gave us the boost to get that third goal and really push for the fourth."
Richard SMITH (GBR)
On the team performance:
"We knew it was going to be exciting, it's Australia. It's always going to be played at pace, that's how they're going to come at you. It's a shame we got punished for very sloppy mistakes and against lots of teams that's not going to happen."
"Absolutely incredible. The way they helped us in the second half, yes we've started to show what we can do, and as soon as they saw what we can do, they carried us the rest of the way."
Matthew SWANN (AUS)
On today's match:
"GB are a great side and had the home advantage tonight. We took our foot off the pedal and allowed GB to come back at us."
On the crowd:
"Good crowd tonight, who doesn't want to play in front of a huge crowd like that? We fed off it."
On the last pool game:
"We need to recover and be ready to face Pakistan. The next game is a brand new game."
Nathan BURGERS (AUS)
On the result of tonight's match:
"All is not lost. At one point we were guaranteed a semifinal place so I am pretty disappointed. GB are a great team but we lapsed for a few minutes and allowed them to score and we were careless at times."
On playing the hosts:
"We always like playing the host team, tonight it felt like there were 100,000 people watching when GB started to make their comeback in the second half and get back into the game. It was great to see a noisy crowd tonight, great to see for hockey and for the GB team."
Russell FORD (AUS)
On scoring the first two goals:
"The two goals don't really bother me, to draw is disappointing. We dropped our intensity in the end and Great Britain picked it up. We learn the hard way, but if we get a good result against Pakistan we will still qualify for the semifinals."
|August 05th, 2012 at 12:55 pm||GB and Australia have taken the field and are ready for the anthems -- crowd is on its feet!|
|August 05th, 2012 at 1:08 pm||Australia's Russell Ford silences the crowd when he puts his team up 1-0 with a goal off James Fair's foot|
|August 05th, 2012 at 1:12 pm||Ford strikes again -- just three minutes later he's in the right place at the right time to make it 2-0 for AUS|
|August 05th, 2012 at 1:29 pm||GB fans trying to spur their team on, but so far Australia is just too strong.|
|August 05th, 2012 at 1:35 pm||Two minutes left in the half and Australia still holds the 2-0 lead. GB battling to get on the board before the break|
|August 05th, 2012 at 1:37 pm||Australia takes its two-goal lead into the break, but hope is not lost for GB, they looked stronger as the half wore on|
|August 05th, 2012 at 1:48 pm||GB has 35 minutes to make its home crowd happy -- winner of this is in pole position for the semis.|
|August 05th, 2012 at 1:53 pm||Knowles makes it 3-0 for Australia! The Aussies looking awfully tough to top|
|August 05th, 2012 at 2:16 pm||Sorry for the silence, a few technical glitches here. But massive excitement as GB scores twice! Score now 3-2|
|August 05th, 2012 at 2:17 pm||Ciriello and Middleton the goal scorers -- the markers come six minutes apart and the crowd is deafening|
|August 05th, 2012 at 2:19 pm||Aussies buckling down and playing defense -- the D looks like a bee hive with all the yellow jerseys|
|August 05th, 2012 at 2:20 pm||Five to go and Knowles sits with a green card. Big opportunity for GB|
|August 05th, 2012 at 2:22 pm||The comeback is complete! GB scores the 3-3 goal, it goes to video referral but Tindall's equalizer stands. Four minutes to go!|
|August 05th, 2012 at 2:30 pm||GB gets the point after an incredible comeback -- they tie Australia keeping the semi picture very blurry in Group A.|