Hockey World Cup 2018, England vs Australia: 3 Talking Points from the Bronze-medal match
The final day of thrilling hockey action at the 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup began with the Bronze Medal match between England and Australia at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
The two sides fought for a chance to finish as the third-placed side in the competition after their defeats last night in the semifinals.
England were humbled by the Belgium side who won 6-0 after a masterclass on the turf as the English midfield and attack was curtailed by the organized structure of the Belgian defence. Australia were defeated by the three-time champions Netherlands in an intense battle that saw the match decided in the penalty shootout after the regulation time ended 2-2 after a late goal from the Aussies.
The two sides had earlier faced each other in the group stage in the Pool A and the Australians had won a tough match with a 3-0 win courtesy the goals from Jake Whetton, Blake Govers and Corey Weyer in the final quarter of the match.
The match began on a pretty even note with both the sides looking for holes in the opposition defence. However, it was the Aussies who drew the first blood as Blake Gowers scored his seventh goal in the tournament with a stellar reverse hit in the eighth minute of the match after a quick counter move. A minute later, the Australian side doubled their lead after a defensive miss from the Englishmen inside the circle saw Tom Craig finish an easy chance past Harry Gibson in the England goal.
Australia were boosted by the early goals and took control of the match racing away to a 6-0 lead by the end of the third quarter. Tom Craig got his hat-trick and Trent Mitton scored his first goal of the 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup.
England pulled one back through their veteran Barry Middleton to get a consolation goal and tried their best to make a comeback but the Aussie defence did not allow them any chances.. Jeremy Hayward scored two goals from the penalty corners late in the fourth quarter as the Kookaburras finished the match in a massive 8-1 win over the Englishmen.
We take a look at the major talking points from the third-place playoff match between England and Australia.
#3 Australia make the early pressure count with quick goals
The two sides began probing each other's defence from the get-go with attempts at creating chances in and around the circles.
After the initial blushes, the Australians took control over the proceedings and struck England with two quick goals to make their momentum count. Blake Govers was on target with his tomahawk to open the scoring for the Kookaburras after he was sent on goal with a great pass from the midfield.
A goalmouth scramble and defensive indecisiveness from the Englishmen provided Tom Craig with an easy opportunity a minute later to make it two on the board for the Australians.