HOCKEY: The Hockeyroos have finished their impressive 2018 Women’s World Cup campaign in fourth spot after suffering a 3-1 loss to Spain in the bronze medal match in London on Sunday.
Australia had missed out on a place in the World Cup final following a shootout loss to the top-ranked Netherlands on Saturday and didn’t appear to be able to shake off that disappointment.
Spain, ranked 11th, raced to an early two-goal lead via Mario Lopez (11’) and Berta Bonastre (14’).
The fifth-ranked Hockeyroos responded when Kathryn Slattery tapped in from close range in the 40th minute, but Alicia Magaz’s 51st minute goal sealed the win and bronze for the Spaniards.
The result represents the third time that Australia have finished in fourth spot in World Cup history, while it’s Spain’s best-ever placing, having come fourth in 2006 on home turf.
Hockeyroos defender Jodie Kenny said: “It was extremely tough. We played a great match yesterday (against the Netherlands) and it was a shame we couldn’t replicate that match from yesterday.
“We were up and about ready for it and we were just outplayed. It’s extremely disappointing to out fourth but in the overall scheme it’s a good effort from us.
“I think there’s a lot to be proud of in how we played. We matched up against some of the best teams in the world and played some really amazing hockey. But we’re disappointed we couldn’t finish it at the business end.”
On Saturday, Australia couldn’t re-produce their quarter-final penalty shootout heroics against Argentina, going down 3-1 in the shootout to the world number one Dutch.
The Hockeyroos produced a gutsy display led by goalkeeper Rachael Lynch who made numerous saves to withstand waves of Dutch pressure, before Georgina Morgan scored a 54th minute equaliser – to Kelly Jonker’s 22nd minute opener - to send the game to a shootout.
Dutch keeper Josine Koning was the hero in the shootout for the reigning world champions, denying Brooke Peris, Kaitlin Nobbs and Karri McMahon, before Lidewij Welten converted her attempt to seal the win.
The Netherlands went on to win their eighth World Cup title with a 6-0 victory over Ireland.
The latest FIH Hero World Rankings will be confirmed following the conclusion of the World Cup.