The Kookaburras have answered back at the FIH Pro League in Europe, producing a confident come-from-behind victory to beat Argentina.

Less than 48 hours after they lost to the South Americans 1-2, the Kookaburras came out firing, desperate to retain their fine winning form this year. 

And it paid off quickly, earning a penalty corner within the opening two minutes they heaped the pressure on Argentina and while they wouldn’t score off the advantage, their opportunity to strike came just a minute later. 

With the momentum in their favour, Ky Willott made a charge down the left-hand side, diving to flick the ball over to Tom Wickham who was poised and ready to finish it off.

Down 1-0 within three minutes, Argentina soon answered back scoring two goals within two minutes and the Kookaburras were down by one.

Maintaining pressure throughout and holding strong despite being a man down for 10 minutes in the third quarter, all the action would come in the fourth, with Tim Brand’s persistence finally paying off as he lined up Lane Cove’s Tom Craig for a fantastic goal.

With the scores level, Argentina found a way to score and take the lead again, sailing the ball straight through the legs of Kookaburras goalkeeper Andrew Charter and into the back of the net. 
Earning a penalty corner soon after, it would be the skipper Aran Zalewski who would set up striker Jeremy Hayward with an incredible ball which he slotted straight through Argentina’s goalie to score the equaliser. 

With the final minute racing down on the clock the Kookaburras launched a rapid counter-attack, Tom Craig once again with the ball on the left-hand side gave it a mighty pass to prolific goal scorer Blake Govers whose perfectly timed strike handed the Kookaburras their first win of the stage.

“There’s no better guy to have on the end of it than [Blake Govers]” Tom Craig said post-match.

Known for his phenomenal goal-to-game ratio of 144 goals in 157 matches, Blake is returning to international competition following an injury layoff after his last game at the FIH Pro League in February.

“I was probably trying to get the flies off my back before I head into the Olympics!” Blake said post-match.

“At the moment I’m feeling good and I’m feeling fresh… It’s going to be very interesting. I think we’re finally getting some good connections but also a good awareness of what we’re trying to achieve so hopefully we can play a bit more controlled against Belgium and take our chances and I think we’ll have a good day out.”

“It’s an Olympic year so teams just get sharper and sharper the closer it gets to the Olympics,” Tom added. 

“I think starting probably with a couple of losses this leg definitely sent a bit of a rocket up us… We had a really good debrief of the first two games, came together really well on our rest day, and just wanted to put out a good 60 minutes and played right to the end, which was very pleasing.”

Facing a swift turnaround before taking on the hosts Belgium again tomorrow afternoon, Tom said the team’s looking forward to continuing the momentum.

“Belgium is such a good team. We can see that they move the ball really well and we’re on their home turf, a great turf too, and the crowd is awesome. It’s exactly what we want. We want a nice hostile environment against the top team and we get that tomorrow which is very fortunate and we can’t wait.”

Kookaburras v Argentina
Kookaburras: 4 (Tom Wickham 3′ (FG) Tom Craig 49′ (FG), Jeremy Hayward 57′ (PC), Blake Govers 60′ (FG))
Argentina: 3 (Agustin Mazzilli 11′ (FG), Santiago Tarazona 12′ (FG), Tomas Domene 53′ (FG)) 
In Antwerp, Belgium
Kookaburras: 2. Tom Craig, 3. Corey Weyer, 4. Jake Harvie, 5. Tom Wickham, 10. Joshua Beltz, 11. Eddie Ockenden, 12. Jake Whetton, 17. Aran Zalewski (c), 20. Ky Willott, 30. Andrew Charter (gk), 32. Jeremy Hayward, 6. Matt Dawson, 7. Nathan Ephraums, 8. Johan Durst (gk), 13. Blake Govers, 22. Flynn Ogilvie, 29. Tim Brand, 33. Hayden Beltz

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