The Hockeyroos have fallen just short of Belgium in a nail-biting 2-1 clash in Melbourne in the FIH Pro league on Sunday evening.
It was a tightly contested affair early but Belgium broke out to a two-goal lead late in the fourth thanks to scores from Michelle Struijk and Louise Versavel in the 35th and 47th minutes respectively.
Brooke Peris did her best to bring Australia back from the brink in the dying minutes of the game, backing her way into the attacking circle and nailing a powerful field goal in the 57th minute of the match.
Australia now sits fourth on the FIH Pro League ladder having recorded one win and one loss.
The Hockeyroos head to Tasmania next week to take on Germany and China.
“It’s disappointing, we didn’t come out with the vigour that we were hoping for after what we did against Holland,” said Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin.
“Disappointing with our result and our performance, our skill level and physical effort has to be better. There was a bit of fatigue there but there’s no excuses. We need to be better with the ball and cleaner.”
The Australians did their best to tie up the match late, creating several consecutive penalty corner opportunities and subsequent scoring chances.
The Hockeyroos pulled goalkeeper Rachael Lynch from the field with a minute to spare giving them an extra player in attack.
As a result Hockeyroos captain Emily Chalker was able to run the ball baseline in the dying seconds of the match, her shot was on target but goalkeeper Aisling D’Hooghue defended the play perfectly, securing the Belgium win.
The Hockeyroos must now turn their attention to Saturday’s match against China in Tasmania.
Australia 1 (Peris 57’)
Belgium 2 (Struijk 35’, Versavel 47’)