England battled hard for three quarters, but a clinical Australia performance in the fourth quarter which saw the English defence breached three times saw the Kookaburras clinch a place in the knockout stages of the Odisha World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India, on Tuesday.
England will have to wait until Ireland play China before they know what they will need to do to reach the crossover stage, in their final pool match against Ireland on Friday.
Australia’s 3-0 victory seemed a lifetime away after the first quarter, in which the only real chance of note fell to England’s Barry Middleton.
In a more adventurous second quarter, Phil Roper struck Australia’s right post and George Pinner, together with Mark Gleghorne defended two Australian penalty corner chances as half time arrived with the game still goalless.
With the teams still level with fifteen minutes to play, eventually, Australia’s pressure paid dividends with three well taken goals.
First, Jake Whetton swept the ball past Pinner into the left corner after Tom Craig pulled the ball back from the baseline in the 47th minute.
Three minutes later, Blake Govers doubled the lead with a shot into the right corner and then Corey Weyer found the backboard with four minutes to play to give the Kookaburras a somewhat bigger victory margin than they deserved, based on the first three quarters.
Surbiton’s Harry Gibson was rested, whilst James Gall was in the England starting lineup. Zach Wallace came on as a third minute substitute with Luke Taylor entering the pitch three minutes later.
More information about the tournament can be found at the FIH website
All the games are being shown on BT Sport. The schedule for all their channels can be found here
The England Hockey match report can be read here