Despair for Aussies as Belgium snatches gold

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Australia's hopes of a golden medal successful the men's hockey person been ended successful a heartbreaking punishment shootout nonaccomplishment to Belgium astatine the Tokyo Olympics.

After the scores were locked astatine 1-all astatine full-time, the Belgians prevailed 3-2 successful the shootout.

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"Everyone's a spot disappointed, consciousness a spot numb successful there," said the Kookaburras' Eddie Ockenden aft the match.

"We came present to triumph and we didn't rather get there, but we consciousness similar we've played beauteous well.

"Shootouts are tough, it didn't spell our way."

TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 05: Vincent Vanasch of Team Belgium celebrates arsenic Jacob Thomas Whetton of Team Australia fails to people their team's 5th punishment successful the punishment shootout during the Men's Gold Medal lucifer betwixt Australia and Belgium connected time thirteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games astatine Oi Hockey Stadium connected August 05, 2021 successful Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images) (Getty)

It's Belgium's archetypal golden medal successful men's hockey, aft claiming the metallic successful Rio successful 2016. For Australia, it's a sixth medal successful 7 Olympics, but lone successful Athens successful 2004 person they won gold.

The Kookaburras person present finished with the metallic medal astatine 4 Olympic Games (1968, 1976, 1992 and 2021), nary different federation has finished 2nd much often.

Like each jock successful Tokyo the Kookaburras person had to accommodate to the circumstances presented by COVID-19, but Ockenden refused to blasted the nonaccomplishment connected the disruption.

Australia claimed metallic astatine the men's hockey aft a shootout nonaccomplishment to Belgium. (Getty)

"It was truly hard for america implicit the past 18 months, we've astir apt been successful Perth unneurotic for 12 months conscionable playing against each other," helium said.

"Once we knew we couldn't play galore internationals we conscionable utilized (it) successful our favour, and we had a truly large content successful what we were doing.

"I wouldn't alteration our preparation. It's been a long, hard slog, we were blessed with what we did."

After a scoreless archetypal half, Belgium took the pb aboriginal successful the 3rd 4th with a extremity to Florent van Aubel, lone for the Hockeyroos to level astatine 1-all successful the 4th fourth via Tom Wickham.

Neither broadside could interruption the deadlock successful regularisation time, sending the lucifer to a shootout, wherever each subordinate has 8 seconds one-on-one with the absorption goalkeeper.

TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 05: Tom Joseph Wickham of Team Australia scores their team's archetypal extremity during the Men's Gold Medal lucifer betwixt Australia and Belgium connected time thirteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games astatine Oi Hockey Stadium connected August 05, 2021 successful Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) (Getty)

Australia was connected the backmost ft instantly erstwhile Blake Govers' couldn't person with the opening shot. But Kookaburras keeper Andrew Charter levelled things up erstwhile helium denied Felix Denayer, leaving the shootout locked astatine 2-2 aft 3 shots apiece.

But that was to beryllium precocious constituent for Australia. When Josh Simmons missed and Alexander Hendrickx made his attempt, Belgium had a 3-2 lead, leaving Jake Whetton successful a must-make situation.

He was denied the extremity arsenic Belgium started to observe what they thought was a golden medal, lone for the video umpire to intervene.

After an agonising wait, Whetton was fixed a re-try aft it was ruled Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch had fouled Whetton.

But to his despair, Whetton's 2nd effort went the aforesaid mode arsenic his first, nary uncertainty ensuring plentifulness of sleepness nights for the 30-year-old arsenic helium ponders what mightiness person been.

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