ORANGE’S Edwina Bone and the Hockeyroos had to settle for silver at the inaugural World League tournament in Tucuman yesterday.
An inspired Dutch comeback saw the Olympic champion Netherlands claim the gold medal in Argentina, cancelling out Australia’s half-time advantage to win 5-1.
Canberra’s Anna Flanagan gave the Hockeyroos a dream start with a penalty corner goal in the sixth minute and the Aussie women held strong to lead 1-0 at the break.
But a whirlwind spell in the second half saw the Dutch score twice in a minute to turn the game on its head.
As the Hockeyroos pushed up field in search of their own comeback, the clinical Dutch forward line added two more goals late on.
Speaking immediately after the final whistle, Hockeyroos head coach Adam Commens called it “a disappointing end to the tournament” before saying he was “very pleased with the week. It’s been a fantastic tournament by the girls and it shows how we‘ve grown and progressed.”
“We’re now among the top teams in the world. Although the score might not have reflected it today, we’re competitive with the best teams in the world and well placed going into the World Cup next year,” he said.
“I thought we were solid in the first half, we defended well and broke well on the counter attack. They [the Netherlands] scored a couple of freak goals which put us on the back foot. We were then chasing the game which left gaps at the back which the Netherlands took advantage of.”
Despite the result, the silver medal caps an excellent year for the Hockeyroos, who have also won the Oceania Cup and World League Semi-Final Tournament gold medals, the International Super Series title and qualified for the 2014 World Cup in The Hague.