Stalemate confirms GB exit

Australia held in final Pool B fixture

Last Updated: 19/08/08 3:50pm

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Middleton celebrates the opening goal

Middleton celebrates the opening goal

Great Britain's men were eliminated from the Beijing Olympic hockey tournament with a 3-3 draw with Australia on Tuesday.

They went into their final Pool B match needing to win by eight goals to progress to the semi-finals, a near-impossible task against Australia, the defending champions.

The stalemate at least ensures GB progress to a fifth place play-off against South Korea on Saturday.

In a keenly-contested first half Australia had the better of the play but GB were by no means outplayed, their first chance came in the 14th minute when Surbiton forward Matt Daly deflected Richard Mantell's free-hit just wide.

In the 21st minute GB goalkeeper Alistair McGregor made a great double save either side of Ben Hawes' goal line clearance.

The deadlock was broken a minute before half-time by former Doncaster and Cannock forward Barry Middleton.

Good work down the left saw Daly beat several players before passing to Jonty Clarke, who smashed a reverse-stick cross to the far post where it was diverted in by Middleton.

George strike

Within five minutes of the restart Australia were level. Rob Moore miscontrolled the ball in front of goal after intercepting a penalty corner move and Bevan George pounced from close range.

And Australia were ahead four minutes later when Eli Matheson's duffed reverse-stick shot was volleyed in by Jamie Dwyer.

Mantell equalised with a low flick past Stephen Lambert's right foot in the 47th minute and, eight minutes later, a shock looked on the cards when Moore blasted home to put GB 3-2 in front.

McGregor made a point-blank saves from Grant Schubert and David Guest in the last 10 minutes before Eddie Ockenden tapped home from close range two minutes from time for Australia's equaliser.

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