Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Late winner sees the Kookaburras enter 2024 on top

Published Mon 12 Feb 2024

A late goal from Lachie Sharp proved the difference between the Kookaburras and a stubborn Spanish side, as Blake Govers notched up 150 caps in the green and gold.

Watch every Kookaburras and Hockeyroos FIH Pro League match live and free on 7plus

Boasting a largely unchanged side rich in experience, Australia had a score to settle with Spain, having lost to them both times in the FIH Pro League last year.
Spain came out firing, clearly hurting and eager to bounce back from their underwhelming 4-1 loss to hosts India, less than 24 hours earlier.
But the Kookaburras needed little warm-up, and despite having not played for at least 5 months, they won the first penalty corner.
At first it appeared to be a missed opportunity, as Spain’s goalie blocked a solid attempt at goal. Then, in a moment of calm, NSW’s Lachlan Sharp seized his moment, delivering a fantastic reverse sweep straight past the defence and into the net.
Taking the lead, the Kookaburras carried that momentum into the second quarter, capitalising on Spain’s frustration and within minutes, they had another through the ever calm and collected Jake Whetton.  
On his 150th appearance in green and gold and celebrating a milestone to remember, it was only fitting Blake Govers scored next.
A powerful strike off a penalty corner saw his goal to game ratio rise to 136 goals from 150 matches.
"The goal to game ratio keeps ticking along but I feel like I should've had two or three more in there!" Blake Govers said with a grin post-match.
But as it appeared his milestone moment was set to end in a victory, Spain had other plans and immediately they answered back with their first goal of the match.
In the third Spain produced a comeback. Two back-to-back goals marked a Spanish revival and suddenly, both sides were level at 3 goals apiece.
As the clock ticked down and the pressure piled on both sides, Lachlan Sharp delivered once again and Australia regained the lead with just minutes left on the clock.
The Kookaburras held off a valiant Spanish effort right until the very end and for the second time in 13 months, they snuck home in a seven-goal epic.
"Apart from the third quarter, where they scored two quick goals, I think we played a pretty dominant game."

"Spain had their Olympic qualifiers recently so they're at the top of their game and we're just starting out if you like... it was important for us to get that win and we're pretty happy overall."

The Kookaburras now turn their attention to game two, when they take on FIH Pro League newcomers Ireland on Monday night.

Match Details
Spain: (Marc Miralles 29’, Nicolas Alvarez 36’, Pol Verdeill Cabre 37’)
Kookaburras: (Lachlan Sharp 9’ & 52’, Jake Whetton 19’, Blake Govers 25’)
In Bhubaneswar, India
Kookaburras: 3. Corey Weyer, 4. Jake Harvie, 5. Tom Wickham, 9. Jacob Anderson, 10. Joshua Beltz, 12. Jake Whetton, 17. Aran Zalewski (c), 22. Flynn Ogilvie, 23. Daniel Beale, 30. Andrew Charter (gk), 32. Jeremy Hayward, 1. Lachlan Sharp, 2. Tom Craig, 8. Johan Durst (gk), 11. Eddie Ockenden, 13. Blake Govers, 20. Ky Willott, 26. James Collins