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‘Embarrassing’ timer error saves Hockeyroos bacon in major Comm Games controversy




The Hockeyroos qualified for the gold medal game at the Commonwealth Games – but it was not without great controversy.

Facing fierce rivals India, who knocked out the Tokyo Olympics team last year in the quarter-finals, the Aussies took control of the match after an early goal from Rebecca Greiner.

But when India equalized through Vandana Katariya in the fourth quarter, the Hockeyroos would have had to go through a tricky penalty shootout to stay on course for gold.

In controversial scenes, Rosie Malone would see the first shootout attempt denied by India goalkeeper and captain Savita Punia, only for a bizarre mistake by officials to give her a second chance.

Unbeknownst to the players, the official shot clock had not been started correctly, allowing Malone to retake a penalty.

“This is a hugely controversial moment, and it hurts India,” commentator Alister Nicholson said during Channel Seven’s coverage.

“The clock may not have started but it was perfectly obvious that Rosie Malone was not scoring. It’s so hard for India.

“It’s embarassing.”

Malone would succeed at the second chance, overtaking Punia for a 1-0 lead over Hockeyroos – but former player-turned-commentator Georgie Parker said she would feel “bittersweet” about the reprieve.

“I don’t know how you would feel…they [the Hockeyroos] have smiles on their faces, but I think deep down they know that, if that happened to you…it’s amateurish and unfortunate,” Parker said.

“It would be a national outrage if this happened in Australia,” Nicholson added.

From there, the whole fight went India, with three straight penalties denied by Australian keeper Jocelyn Bartram.

As Australia recovered from early nervousness to sink their three with ease, a miss from Navneet Kaur would seal a shootout victory and spark scenes of joy among the Hockeyroos.

Unsurprisingly, Indian fans took to social media to express their anger, accusing the Australians of cheating and saying it was a “black day for hockey”.

They will face hosts England in the gold medal game late on Sunday night (AEST), who reached the final thanks to their own penalty shootout win over New Zealand.



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