Australia: Blake Govers double guides Kookaburras to resounding win over India

australia blake govers double guides kookaburras to resounding win over india 65d1c79b96093 - Australia: Blake Govers double guides Kookaburras to resounding win over India - The Kookaburras have fired a timely warning to their Olympic rivals, with a resounding 6-4 victory over hosts India that saw them go 3 from 3 this season.

The Kookaburras have fired a timely warning to their Olympic rivals, with a resounding 6-4 victory over hosts India that saw them go 3 from 3 this season.

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On a roll and kicking off the 2024 season unbeaten with victories over Spain and Ireland, the Kookaburras knew this was going to be their biggest test yet.
Welcoming back over 1000 caps from the sidelines, rested for the game against Ireland, the Kookaburras had their scoring powerhouse of Eddie Ockenden, Blake Govers, Lachlan Sharp and Jake Whetton hungry and ready to get back into competition.
Running out in front of a noisy, packed home crowd, India, who had recently beaten Spain and then the Netherlands in a penalty shootout were buoyed by one of the best atmospheres the game has to offer.
But within a couple of minutes, Australia silenced the crowd and had thousands in shock.
NSW’s Blake Govers, who had an incredible goal-to-game ratio of 136 goals in 150 matches, punished India early with two of the fastest goals we’ve seen in hockey.
The first came from an early penalty corner before he carried the momentum and found the net almost immediately after.
Australia left little time for celebration as Govers charged on and almost claimed a hat-trick with another shot on goal less than a minute later, but a crucial save by India kept them in the game.
India suddenly 0-2 down and under immense pressure didn’t let up. As Australia attacked a moment came for India and a goal to Harmanpreet Singh swung the momentum back in India’s favour.
Within 30 minutes this game was shaping up to be an epic match to remember, as a valiant Indian effort saw them suddenly take the lead and within half an hour India was 4-2 up right before halftime.
“When you score early in the game you have a long way to go, it was good to get two early goals, but we need to get back into our passing game… We’ll still be in this,” Kookaburras coach Colin Batch conceded at half-time.
And they were.
Despite India feeling they had all the momentum; Australia came out firing with a plan and they were ready to turn the game back on its head.
Off the penalty corner, Blake Govers appeared to bag his 8th career hat-trick and the third goal Australia needed, but as his powerful strike fired straight towards the left of India’s goalie, a deflection off his boot allowed Aran Zalewski the tap and the Kookaburras were back in the game.
Trailing by one goal heading into the final 15 minutes, the Aussies fought hard to protect their winning run.
Before too long the Kookaburras had officially launched a comeback, Lithgow’s Lachlan Sharp having a tournament to remember, levelled the score 4-4 with just eight minutes remaining.
Then, just when it seemed Jacob Anderson had scored the winner for Australia, Jack Welch capitalised on the Kookaburras’ newfound momentum and a fantastic strike completed Australia’s almighty comeback over India.
“It’s games like that where you sit back and think about why you love the game,” Player of the Match Aran Zalewski said post-match.
“There was so much momentum for us and then for India and back to us, so I’m pleased we were on the right side of it at the end.” 
Gaining the crucial 3 points Australia needed, the Kookaburras now sit second on the Pro League standings, ahead of Argentina on goal difference.
They now face a quick turnaround before taking on the top-ranked Netherlands tomorrow night.
Match Details
India: 4 (Harmanpreet Singh 12’ & 20’, Sukhjeet Singh 18’, Mandeep Singh 29’)
Kookaburras: 6 (Blake Govers 2’, 2’, Aran Zalewski 40’, Lachlan Sharp 52’, Jacob Anderson 55’, Jack Welch 58′)
In Bhubaneswar, India

Kookaburras: 1. Lachlan Sharp, 4. Jake Harvie, 6. Matt Dawson, 7. Nathan Ephraums, 9. Jacob Anderson, 11. Eddie Ockenden (c), 13. Blake Govers, 16. Tim Howard, 17. Aran Zalewski, 20. Ky Willott, 30. Andrew Charter (gk), 3. Corey Weyer, 12. Jake Whetton, 15. Jayden Atkinson, 21. Jack Welch, 26. James Collins, 29. Tim Brand

Unused substitute: 8. Johan Durst (gk)

Australia Hockey

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