Bhubaneswar, 7 December 2014: Australia and Belgium got day two of the Hero Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar off to a rip-roaring start with a stunning 4-4 (3-2) draw in Pool A with Tom Boon scoring with the very last play.
After a feisty, physical first quarter ended scoreless, the second period was outstanding, consisting of five goals in quick succession. The Kookaburras started the run with three goals in five minutes, Chris Ciriello dragging home low for 1-0 before Eddie Ockenden stole the ball in the Belgian circle, shimmied left and slid home on his backhand.
Jake Whetton nabbed the third from close range after goalkeeper Jeremy Gucassoff could only half-stop Matt Gohdes cross-shot. But Belgium fought back quickly with Sebastien Dockier going alone to fire past Andrew Charter. Simon Gougnard then picked out Florent van Aubel to tap in his side’s second goal on the stroke of half-time. It left them trailing 3-2 but right back in the contest.
Flynn Ogilvie, with his first international goal, extended the margin for Australia when he finished off a great move down the left flank but, within two minutes, John-John Dohmen tipped in from the second phase of a corner.
That made it 4-3 to the Kookaburras going into the final quarter but it looked like the game was getting away from Belgium until a series of last minute penalty corners. From the final one, awarded with three seconds to go, Tom Boon recovered a miscued drag-flick to smash home a dramatic equaliser. The result leaves Belgium on four points after two games while Australia have just one.
Speaking post the match Australia Coach Graham Reid said, “We dominated throughout the match and scored through the opportunities that the boys got, but yes it’s a disappointing end. We are positive and we will come back strong against Pakistan. We have to be more vigilant on our defence for the upcoming matches”.
Speaking post their spectacular play Belgium Captain John-John Dohmen said, “It was an intense and high voltage game and we fought back to ensure that they did not take the win by ensuring the draw. It is always very satisfying to see such performance from youngsters against the Defending Champions and which is a great experience that we take with us.”
Man of the Match Russell Ford, Australia said, “Scoring three goals initially was a positive for the team and we have shown improvement from our yesterdays’ match. Last few second of the match was tough as we had to face a few setbacks.