Great Britain Men put in a superb performance to draw 2-2 with Australia at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre before winning 4-3 in the subsequent shootout.
Surbiton’s Alan Forsyth spun round before firing at Australian goalkeeper Tyler Lovell in the fourth minute and three minutes later it was his club mate, Zach Wallace who put Great Britain ahead, Forsyth spinning around again, this time to pass the ball for Wallace to deflect perfectly into the goal.
Australia levelled in the 12th minute, Jake Harvie timing a dive perfectly to slide a cross into the goal.
Great Britain played some excellent passing hockey, Surbiton’s Brendan Creed, Tom Sorsby and Wallace combining well before Australia regained possession.
Chris Griffiths restored Great Britain’s lead in the 25th minute with a penalty corner conversion to delight the sell out crowd.
Sorsby almost assisted a third goal for Great Britain, Sam Ward unable to replicate Harvie’s goal from Sorsby’s cross a minute before half time.
Australia levelled six minutes into the second half, George Pinner making an initial save but unable to prevent Tim Brand from putting away the rebound.
Phil Roper almost snatched the victory in the dying seconds of normal time going on a run into the Australian half, but was denied by a deflection as the hooter sounded to signal the shootout.
There was immediate drama as Harry Martin went first for Great Britain but forced a penalty stroke, Forsyth clinically putting Great Britain 1-0 ahead.
Aran Zalewski equalised for Australia before Adam Dixon scored from Great Britain’s second attempt, Australia losing their video referral looking for a stick block offence.
Pinner maintained Great Britain’s lead, kicking the ball away and clearing from Blake Govers.
Roper extended Great Britain’s lead to 3-1 with a scrambled effort from the left post. Flynn Ogilvie found the backboard from Australia’s third attempt to reduce their deficit to 3-2.
David Ames also smacked the backboard to give Great Britain a 4-2 advantage before Tom Craig rifled the ball into the top left corner to keep Australia in the match.
Forsyth, having scored from the penalty spot, was unable to clinch the victory as Lovell saved, but Pinner forced Daniel Beale to shoot wide of the right post to start the celebrations for the bonus point.
Surbiton’s Harry Gibson played the first half in the Great Britain goal with Brendan Creed and Tom Sorsby. James Gall came on as a third minute substitute, Forsyth followed him a minute later with Wallace coming on in the fifth minute.
After the match, Gall felt “The performance was pretty good. It was a bit of an up and down game, so it was nice to get over the line.”
On the shootout, he added, “If Harry had been in goal he would have done a great job, but George made some brilliant saves!”
More information about the Men’s FIH Pro League can be found at the FIH website
The matches are shown on BT Sport and the schedule for all their channels can be found here
The Great Britain Hockey match report can be read here