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Australia draw with Argentina 2-2

3 August 2012

HOCKEY: The Kookaburras have failed to make the most of the opportunity to book a spot into the semi finals, suffering a 2-2 draw with Argentina despite leading for the majority of the match.

Holding a two goal lead at half-time, Argentina threw everything at the Kookaburras in the second half.

It is an agonising result for the Kookaburras, who had far more control of the game and shots on goal, however again they failed to make the most of their opportunities.

Argentina had the first chance to score in the first half after receiving two penalty corners early in the match. The Kookaburras used their referral for the second, which was rejected. Fortunately, goalkeeper Nathan Burgers was good enough to save both.

The Kookaburras made the most of their penalty corner minutes later, with Chris Ciriello taking the flick which was initially saved, only to be followed up by Matthew Butturini for the rebound to make it 1-0.

The Kookaburras completely dominated the half and came close to scoring on several occasions, however it took until the final minute for them to add to their tally. It was no ordinary goal, with Kookaburras champion Jamie Dwyer putting one in the back of the net to become the highest goal scorer in Australian history, breaking the record of 179 goals set by Mark Hager.

The Kookaburras started the second half well, however it was Argentina who hit the scoreboard first, with the Kookaburras conceding their first goal of the tournament to make it 2-1 and apply the pressure back on Australia.

The second half played out in frustrating fashion for the Kookaburras, with several real chances on goal going agonisingly close to finding the back of the net.

Despite Australia recording far more circle penetrations and shots on goal, Argentina managed to level the scores with just two minutes remaining via a penalty corner.

The draw means the Kookaburras are yet to confirm their spot in the semi finals.

Coach Ric Charlesworth said he expected Argentina to push his team, however once again Australia failed to make the most of their chances.

“I have said all along we have to keep improving all the way through the tournament,” Charlesworth said.

“I don’t think we finished our last two games off well and today we saw more of that. When you make so many good chances you would want to get a better share.

“I think we expected Argentina to play the way they did and they are a very good team. We were patchy today and I think that is the best way to describe us and it showed on the scoreboard.

“We made more than three times the chances and didn’t finish off, so it is our own fault.”

Shaun Anderson in London

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