Draw ends GB's hockey medal bid
19 Aug 2008 15:07 BST
Great Britain's bid for a medal in the men's hockey ended after a 3-3 draw against defending champions Australia.
GB needed a highly unlikely 8-0 win to progress at the expense of the Aussies.
Britain took the lead through Barry Middleton but Australia soon hit back through Bevan George, and Jamie Dwyer then put the champions 2-1 up.
Richard Mantell levelled and Rob Moore's deflected shot put GB ahead but Eddie Ockenden scored a late equaliser for the Kookaburras.
On Monday, Great Britain's women drew with the United States to end their bid for a medal.
The men saved their best performance for their last group match but still fell short of the semi-finals.
Australia's win confirmed their qualification as runners-up in Pool B and they face Spain, who beat South Korea 2-1 on Tuesday to win Pool A, for a place in the final.
The Netherlands, who won Pool B with a 4-2 win against Pakistan, take on Pool A runners-up Germany in the other semi-final after they beat New Zealand 4-1.
Britain's task of winning by eight clear goals was near-impossible but they played with the same freedom which took them within seven minutes of a goalless draw against Holland earlier in the pool.
Britain now have a fifth-place play-off against Korea on Saturday, which will represent an improvement on their world ranking of eight.
In a surprisingly well-contested first half Australia had the better of the play but GB were by no means out-played.
Their first chance came in the 14th minute when Surbiton forward Matt Daly deflected Mantell's free-hit wide.
GB goalkeeper Alistair McGregor made a fine double save either side of a goal-line clearance by Ben Hawes, but Middleton almost opened the scoring with a diving shot steered narrowly wide.
Middleton got his goal a minute before half time when he turned in Jonty Clarke's reverse-stick cross from the right at the far post.
Within five minutes of the restart Australia were level - Moore miscontrolling in front of goal after intercepting a penalty corner and Bevan George pouncing from close range.
Australia took the lead when Eli Matheson's reverse-stick shot had the defence ducking for cover but, with no whistle, Jamie Dwyer swivelled to volley home.
Mantell equalised with a low flick past Lambert's right foot from a penalty corner in the 47th minute and Britain were ahead again when Hawes' pull-back from the right byline saw Moore blast home after an error by Rob Hammond.
The Kookaburras increased up the pressure late on and, with two minutes to go, Ockenden tapped home from close range to equalise.