The Hockeyroos set up the gold medal clash against England after a controversial 3-0 win over India on penalties on Friday.
In the shootout, Australia’s Rosie Malone missed her shot but to the dismay of the Indian team and supporters, the striker was given a second chance as a technical official, B Morgan of England, had not managed to start the stopwatch on time.
Each player has eight seconds to put the ball in the net during the shootout.
Given a second chance, Malone scored and it set the tone for the shootout as the Indians failed on their first three attempts, while Australia converted all of their chances.
“After that, we lost a bit of our momentum. Then it came back and everyone was deflated,” said Schopman, a two-time Olympic medalist.
“I’m not using it as an excuse, but when you make the save it’s a huge boost for the team and you reverse the decision and the girls are really upset about it,” he said. -she adds.
Recounting the incident, she said: “The official’s hand was up, but I didn’t really know and the referees – A Church and H Harrison from England – didn’t either. That’s why I’m frustrated because the referees said we had to take it back.”
“I tried to calm them down. Looking back, it’s 50-50, but I’m sure they lost focus after that moment,” Schopman said in frustration.
The game went to a penalty shootout after the two teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time.
“It’s all human and all emotion. Should we be better? That’s what I was trying to say, ‘girls, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter’. But of course it matters and of course I’m also angry because I don’t think even the officials understood what happened.
“They said it wasn’t our decision. I said ‘Australia aren’t complaining, they know they missed it, it was easily 10 seconds and they had the opportunity to to mark’.”
“I think these people just don’t understand the game and the emotions involved in it.”
India captain Savita Punia however played down the incident and said: “Maybe it was our bad luck in the shootout. We saved the first goal in time out but we are told the clock hasn’t started. only.
“It certainly played a role in the psychology of the players. But we learned from our coach that all these things are part of the game. We tried to bounce back.”
“Certainly I’m sad about that. But I’m proud of the girls for coming back after being 0-1 down against a team like Australia. We had decided at half-time to go for that one goal and the team executed it perfectly.”
(Australia won the shootout 3-0 to enter the final – Getty Images)
Savita said their initial reaction was shock and disbelief.
“Of course we are human beings. Yes, the next moment we realize we can’t change it, we can’t make excuses and we can’t fight for it. That sometimes happens.
“It was difficult and we had to move on. But when we found out about this, we thought how could this have happened? This has never happened in my career. This was a first for me,” said she added.
India will now face New Zealand in the bronze medal qualifier on Sunday.