The Kookaburras have reached the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games gold medal match after defeating Germany 3-1 in their quarter-final match on Tuesday evening.
Going into the game, tensions were high as the Kookaburras looked to make an Olympic final for the first time in 17 years. Adding an additional dimension, they were looking to atone for their heartbreaking 4-2 defeat to Germany at the same semi-final stage at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
It was the Kookaburras who found their ‘A’ game early with a brilliant move orchestrated and finished by three NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) graduate athletes. Blake Govers provided an audacious aerial ball across the circle which Flynn Ogilvie controlled and struck a fast cross-shot for Tim Brand to deflect into goal and make it 1-0. The goal brought up was Brand’s fifth and, arguably, most important goal of the tournament.
As the first quarter continued, Germany began to press further forward and after gaining an easy penalty corner they levelled the score back at 1-1.
Moving into the second quarter, the Kookaburras retained the lead after a clinical corner and finish from Govers, who continued his excellent form shown throughout the tournament.
The scores stayed at 2-1 right up until the closing stages of the final quarter, as Germany continued to press. With the clock winding down, the Germans opted to replace their goalkeeper with an outfield player in search of an equaliser. However, the Kookaburras made them pay with a quick brake, finishing with a tap in for Lithgow’s Lachlan Sharp (NSWIS) off a Tom Wickham pass.
In beating Germany, the reigning Olympic Games bronze medallists will now face Belgium, the reigning Olympic silver medalilsts and world number two team in the gold medal match. Belgium progressed to Thursday’s final (20:00 AEST) with a 5-2 win over India in their semi-final match.