Olympics hockey: Great Britain fight back to draw with Australia

Great Britain's men produced a stunning fightback to draw 3-3 with world champions Australia and remain on track for an Olympic hockey semi-final.

The home side looked on course for a heavy defeat at 3-0 down early in the second half, but they raised their game impressively at the Riverbank Arena.

Jonty Clarke and Barry Middleton cut the deficit to one before James Tindall equalised in the closing minutes.

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It was a bit crazy and open but it was a brilliant game of hockey

Barry Middleton Great Britain captain

A draw against Spain on Tuesday will take Britain into the last four.

"The things we wanted to be at these Olympics were entertaining and play attacking hockey and I think we achieved that tonight," said GB coach Jason Lee.

"We have some quality and some grit about us but Australia are world number ones and have been for a while because they keep winning things.

"To compete we have to have a little slice of luck and be on the top of our game and I don't think we were in the first half. But we step into the space that some countries are scared to.

"It was a special occasion but we have to make sure we don't throw it away in the next game."

Australia coach Ric Charlesworth said: "Always for the team that comes from behind it feels better - that is the way it is - but a draw was inconclusive.

"We've conceded five goals in the tournament and three have been own goals."

"It is a memorable draw from a position that looked impossible at the start. Great Britain suddenly came to life and played really well and thoroughly deserved to take a point from the best team in the world."

In the early stages it appeared that the classy Australian side would run away with the Pool B encounter, their speed of movement and passing too much for Britain as Russell Ford made it 2-0 by the break.

Mark Knowles added another early in the second half and Jamie Dwyer missed a clear-cut chance for number four, before the hosts finally began to match the Australian tempo.

Clarke cut inside from the right and saw his cross deflected home by an Australian stick to give the home crowd some hope, and the decibel level shot up when Middleton slid in to angle home an Ashley Jackson penalty corner.

It was now Australia scrambling to hang on under intense pressure and after Knowles was sent to the sin-bin, Britain quickly took advantage when Tindall fired home from the left of the "D".

"At 3-0 it would be very easy for us to drop our heads because the Aussies have shown over the last few years when they get five or six ahead they can kill you," said Middleton.

"We showed that we would never let that happen. We lost a few little battles in the first half but as the game went on we built confidence in ourselves and even at 3-3 we didn't start looking for a draw.

"It was a bit crazy and open but it was a brilliant game of hockey - this is the way it should be played and I hope people enjoyed it."

Pakistan earlier kept their semi-final hopes alive with a 5-4 win over South Africa, while Spain beat Argentina 3-1 in the late Pool A match.

In Pool B, the Netherlands beat Germany 3-1 to qualify, South Korea saw off India 4-1 and Belgium drew 1-1 with New Zealand. Olympic champions Germany need a draw in their final match against New Zealand to qualify for the semis.