Olympics hockey: Australia beat Great Britain to men's bronze

 

Great Britain's men missed out on a first Olympic hockey medal since 1988 as they lost 3-1 to Australia in the bronze medal play-off in London.

The British women won bronze on Friday but the men were unable to match them against top-ranked Australia.

Iain Lewers levelled for GB after Simon Orchard had put the Australians ahead, but Jamie Dwyer and Kieran Govers sealed bronze for the Kookaburras.

Germany play the Netherlands in the men's final at 20:00 BST.

Analysis

"The turning point of the game was Australia forcing a penalty corner on the turnover and scoring from it. They then had three referrals, all won, to get another penalty corner and goal. That really did sink the British team."

That is a match that Australia had expected to be part of but they overcame the disappointment of losing to Germany in the semis and were the better side as they secured their fourth bronze in the last five Games.

"The crowd here was very knowledgeable and was packed out," said Dwyer. "The rule changes since four years ago have been really brilliant for the game. It's just unfortunate we didn't make the final after having such a successful four years.

"We wanted to be in the main game on the final day, but that did not happen. It's still good we pulled it together and are coming home with a bronze medal."

Britain had endured a 9-2 semi-final drubbing by the Netherlands but came out in positive fashion in front of 16,000 fans at the Riverbank Arena.

There was little to choose between the sides until Orchard found space at the edge of the circle and fired a powerful shot past the outstretched hand of GB goalkeeper James Fair.

That prompted a period of intense Australian pressure, during which the home side were stretched to the limit as Kieran Govers missed a couple of good chances to extend the lead.

Iain Lewers is on target but Great Britain lose their Olympic bronze medal match against Australia 3-1.

With half-time approaching, Britain were struggling to stay in touch, but they managed to do even better than that when 19-year-old Harry Martin broke free and forced a penalty corner.

Ashley Jackson directed the ball to the left where Iain Lewers was waiting to sweep the ball home, and the arena erupted as Britain headed into the break on level terms.

The Australians regrouped, however, and regained the lead early in the second half in another siege on the British goal.

GB lost Ali Wilson to the sin-bin for five minutes, and Govers' deflected penalty corner fell to Dwyer, who finished at the second attempt.

The two Australians were involved once again for the third goal, when Dwyer's attempt was parried by Fair into the path of Govers, who converted the rebound.

Britain took off Fair for an outfield player with four minutes remaining but they could not convert the possession into a clear-cut chance as Australia closed the game down.

"For a defeat this is what you want to feel like," said GB captain Barry Middleton. "That you have given your all, gone out there and done it properly. It felt like we did that today and couldn't do any more.

"They are a brilliant team and thoroughly deserved it on the day. We were close, just little things here and there could have made a difference. It's pretty gut-wrenching."

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