Hockeyroos into Games gold medal game

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Steve Larkin / AAP News

Australia’s Rosie Malone thanks the universe for a second chance to sink India in a controversial penalty shootout win that sends the Hockeyroos into the gold medal match at the Commonwealth Games.

After scores were locked 1-1 at fulltime in Friday night’s semi-final, the Hockeyroos triumphed 3-0 in the shootout.

Australia will play England for the gold medal on Sunday.

After Rebecca Greiner scored in the 10th minute, the Hockeyroos held sway until a late India leveller with just 11 minutes remaining in their semi-final.

The shootout began in a blaze of controversy, with Australia’s Malone taking the first shot and missing.

But Malone was gifted a second attempt because the eight-second countdown clock on the scoreboard wasn’t working.

Malone converted her second attempt and her teammates Kaitlin Nobbs and Amy Lawton also scored.

“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.”

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 has 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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