Controversy rocks hockey gold medal qualifier with Australia branded CHEATS after umpire decision

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Controversy leads to women’s hockey gold qualifier with Australian brand CHEATS by Indian supporters after stunning decision by referee to seal result for Hockeyroos

  • The Aussie Hockeyroos are in the women’s gold medal match against England
  • Their semi-final against India had a very controversial penalty finish
  • After an Australian player missed a penalty, they got a second chance to score
  • Indian fans furious and commentators called decision ‘amateur’

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The Australian hockey rose have entered the women’s gold medal hockey game at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games to a chorus of booing and have been branded ‘cheats’ after taking the win by the decision of an ‘amateur’ referee.

Australia will face England on Sunday for the gold medal. Hockeyroos star Rosie Malone can thank the universe, however, after being given a second chance to sink India in a controversial penalty shootout victory.

After the scores in Friday night’s semi-finals were 1-1, the Hockeyroos triumphed 3-0 in the shootout.

The shooting started in a blaze of controversy, with Australian Malone taking the first shot and missing.

But Malone got a second try because the eight-second countdown on the scoreboard didn’t work.

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

While the decision was correct to the letter of the law, it was a highly contentious decision given the point of the match and the stakes on the line.

The decision left Australian commentators shocked, with former international Georgie Parker describing the decision as “amateur and unfortunate”.

“It would be a national outcry if that happened to Australia,” Alastair Nichoson said on Channel 7.

Australia's Hockeyroos celebrate victory in their semi-final against India to reach the gold medal match against England at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games

Australia’s Hockeyroos celebrate victory in their semi-final against India to reach the gold medal match against England at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games

Fuzzy Indian fans took to social media to express their frustrations and slammed the Hockeyroos as impostors, while many Australian and neutral supporters suggested the Hockeyroos should have turned down the second chance shot.

‘The poor sportsmanship of the Aussies. No one can deny that. Very unfortunate for India. But not surprised by the level of sportsmanship of an Aussie team,” tweeted Anikesh Johari.

“No control over the decision, but total control over their response. Should have just hit the ball over the sideline in the repechage. Sportsmanship is important,” writes John Kramer.

An anonymous profile tweeted: ‘Only India suffers. I have not seen any other team suffer from such cheating or so-called mistakes.”

Malone said she was only focused on her team and the win at the time.

“When they announced the rematch, I thanked the universe for a second chance,” Malone said.

“I knew all of India would hate me if I put it in there.

“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 won’t miss 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 end.’

It’s another incident in a controversial match for Malone, who was labeled sexist for filming a half-naked male athlete from her room while she also nearly lost a finger in a horrific hockey accident earlier this year.

India’s captain, Savita Punia, was shattered and to the point of tears, but was graceful in defeat.

“It’s hard to make decisions like that, but it’s part of the sport and you have to accept it.”

Meanwhile, England secured their spot in the final with a 2-0 shootout triumph against New Zealand after a scoreless stalemate.

Sunday’s final will be Australia’s third meeting with England in the gold medal match – the Hockeyroos have won both and have four Commonwealth titles in the six completed editions of the Games.

India's Neha reacts after failing to score in shootout during women's semi-final hockey match against Australia at Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

India's Neha reacts after failing to score in shootout during women's semi-final hockey match against Australia at Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

India’s Neha reacts after failing to score in shootout during women’s semi-final hockey match against Australia at Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

In Friday’s semi-final, the Australian exacted some semblance of belated revenge on the Indians for knocking them out in the quarter-finals of the Tokyo Olympics last year.

The Australians got an early blow when defender Karri Somerville was knocked out for seven minutes when she caught a nasty ricochet on her right cheekbone.

But just three minutes later, they struck as Mariah Williams fired down the left wing, launching a cross that was neatly deflected by Greiner at the far post.

The score remained 1-0 until India equalized against the tide in the 49th minute when Vandana Katariya strayed into the net from close range – the first goal the Australians had conceded during the Games.

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