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Kookaburras denied top-spot in penalty shootout drama against World Champions Germany

Published Mon 10 Jun 2024

The Kookaburras are on the cusp of taking the top spot on Season 5 of the FIH Pro League standings after another nail-biting penalty shootout resulted in a narrow loss.

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A win over the current world champions would've seen Australia surpass Argentina and claim the number one position and the Kookaburras made a confident charge for it.

Their early dominance was rewarded through a great team goal, with a fine run through the middle before the League's Top Goal Scorer Blake Govers delivered Tom Craig a beautiful assist as he was charging towards the middle of the goal ready to finish it off.

The Kookaburras maintained their hard-earned lead at the halftime break, largely thanks to Aussie goalkeeper Johan Durst who saved a powerful attempt by Germany right on the hooter.

It all came to a head in the third, as Germany scored the equaliser straight after the break with a well-organised team goal.

They capitalised on that newfound momentum, earning a penalty corner two minutes later and Gonzalo Peillat's drag flick would see his side take the lead for the first time in the match.

The Kookaburras put up a valiant fight which was rewarded late in the third with a sensational penalty corner deflection for Tim Brand.

While Australia threatened to win in the final quarter and both sides put up a thrilling fight to avoid a penalty shootout, the clock raced down and the Germans would prevail in a narrow shootout win that saw a penalty stroke awarded to both sides before Germany claimed it in a sudden death result.

"I love [penalty shootouts]," forward Jake Harvie said post-match. 

"It's a great opportunity for us. To come over to Europe right before the Olympics and play some great teams is fantastic. And as much as we would like to have scored a few more in regular time, getting to do a shootout is an awesome opportunity for us." 

"All of the teams that we've played in the Pro League are really quality, especially on this last leg here in London. We're playing some really quality teams right really close to the Olympics that are going to be in great form and as it's getting close we couldn't hope for anything better."

The Kookaburras and Hockeyroos have a day to review, rest and recover before facing Germany again on Wednesday morning. The Kookaburras play before the Hockeyroos at 12.30am AEST.

Kookaburras v Germany
Kookaburras: 2 (Tom Craig 12' (FG), Tim Brand 44' (PC))
Germany: 2 (Johannes Grobe 33' (FG), Gonzalo Peillat 35' (PC))
At Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre, London

Kookaburras: 2. Tom Craig, 4. Jake Harvie, 5. Tom Wickham, 6. Matt Dawson, 8. Johan Durst (gk), 11. Eddie Ockenden, 13. Blake Govers, 16. Tim Howard, 17. Aran Zalewski (c), 20. Ky Willott, 22. Flynn Ogilvie, 1. Lachlan Sharp, 3. Corey Weyer, 7. Nathan Ephraums, 23. Daniel Beale, 29. Tim Brand, 30. Andrew Charter (gk), 33. Hayden Beltz