Hockey fans have been left fuming over a controversial decision that helped Australia's women book a date with England in the final of the Commonwealth Games.
With scores locked 1-1 at full-time in Friday night's semi-final against India, the Hockeyroos won 3-0 in the penalty shootout - but only after a disastrous moment for officials.
Australia's Rosie Malone stepped up first for the Aussies in the shootout but missed her shot in what appeared to be a hammer blow for the Hockeyroos.
In highly contentious scenes, however, Malone was gifted a second attempt because the eight-second countdown clock on the scoreboard wasn't working.
Malone converted her second attempt to get the Aussies off to the ideal start in what would prove to be a crucial moment.
— 7Sport (@7Sport) August 5, 2022
“That would be a national outrage if that happened to Australia,” commentator Alastair Nichoson said on Channel 7.
“It’s amateur and unfortunate,” former Hockeyroo Georgie Parker added.
Hockeyroos teammates Kaitlin Nobbs and Amy Lawton converted their penalties to help the Aussies seal the win and set up a gold medal showdown against England.
India captain Savita Punia was devastated after the match but showed her class when discussing the controversy.
“Such decisions are tough to take but it’s part of sport and you have to accept it.”
India head coach Janneke Schopman added: “I don’t think even the officials understood what happened… it’s not an excuse but that didn’t help the team.”
The incident left viewers fuming, with officials coming under fire for the embarrassing gaffe.
A bitter loss for India. Australia win the shootout 3-0 & reach the final. No words really for what happened at the start of the shootout but as @virenrasquinha said on air, such poor officiating cannot happen in international hockey & the FIH must look into it.#CWG2022 #Hockey pic.twitter.com/ymHgwcP8pT
— Aditya Chaturvedi (@aditya_c19) August 5, 2022
Shocking bit of organising as the clock does not start during the shootout and Savita Punia's first save in the shoot-out is not counted.
Subsequently, Australia run away 3-0 winners after the Indian Girls take a major setback after a brilliant 60 minutes.#CWG2022 #B2022 pic.twitter.com/4IsmhmcmNX
— Sportskeeda (@Sportskeeda) August 5, 2022
Absolute disgrace and #BadDecisions going in favour of #Australia, which changed the momentum of the penalty shootout. You can't have 'Clock didn't start' in 🏒 Semi Finals of #CommonwealthGames22
Well fought game by @TheHockeyIndia
— Vishal Anil Ramaiya (@quotevishu) August 5, 2022
— Aayush Majumdar (@AayushM) August 5, 2022
Absolute Disgrace. Penalty saved n Australia given a reprieve as clock didn't start, definitely changed the momentum in shootout. Is it howler at International level or is the clock crashed for Kangaroos.. Certainly need an intervention from @FIH_Hockey
— Hollow Halcyon (@KorukondaVeeraj) August 5, 2022
Utter nonsense. Australia take the penalty shootout and go through to the final. India did not deserve to lose this match at all, certainly not after Aus got that bonus shot at the start. This is a disgrace. India have a shot at bronze but they deserved more #CWG22 #CWG pic.twitter.com/Eg7kJwqUMC
— Rohit Mundayur (@RMundayur) August 5, 2022
"When they called the retake, I was thanking the universe for a second chance," Malone said.
"I knew all of India would hate me if I put it in.
"But I was just trying to think about my team and that final and I said to myself 'if I get a second chance at this, I'm not missing it'.
"I felt for India at the time. But all our other girls got our shootouts in so it's not like that one shootout was the be all and end all."
Hockeyroos to play England for gold medal
England secured their spot in the final with 2-0 shootout triumph against New Zealand after a scoreless stalemate.
Sunday's final will be the third time Australia have met England in the gold medal match - the Hockeyroos have won both and have four Commonwealth titles in the six completed editions of the Games.
In Friday's semi-final, the Australian exacted a semblance of belated revenge on the Indians for knocking them out of last year's Tokyo Olympics at the quarter-final stage.
The Australians suffered an early blow when defender Karri Somerville was forced off seven minutes in when copping a nasty ricochet on her right cheekbone.
But just three minutes later, they struck when Mariah Williams darted along the left flank and launched a cross which was neatly deflected in by Greiner at the far post.
The scores remained 1-0 until, against the flow in the 49th minute, India equalised when Vandana Katariya deflected into the net from close-range - the first goal the Australians had conceded in the Games.
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