With Victoria set to host the first "regional" Commonwealth Games in the event's history in 2026, this has me thinking what a Greater Western…
The Hockeyroos are through to the gold medal match at the Commonwealth Games – but it wasn’t without major controversy.
Facing fierce rivals India, who had knocked the team out of last year’s Tokyo Olympics at the quarter-final stage, the Aussies took control of the match after an early goal from Rebecca Greiner.
But when India equalised through Vandana Katariya in the fourth quarter, the Hockeyroos would need to navigate a tricky penalty shootout to keep on track for gold.
In controversial scenes, Rosie Malone would see the first attempt of the shootout denied by Indian goalkeeper and captain Savita Punia, only for a bizarre blunder from the officials to give her a second chance.
Unbeknownst to the players, the official timer on the shot had not been started correctly, permitting Malone a penalty retake.
“That is a massively controversial moment, and that hurts India,” commentator Alister Nicholson proclaimed on Channel Seven’s coverage.
“The clock may not have started, but it was perfectly obvious that Rosie Malone was not scoring. That is so hard on India.
“That is embarrassing.”
Malone would make good on the second chance, firing past Punia for a 1-0 Hockeyroos lead – but former player turned commentator Georgie Parker said she would be feeling ‘bittersweet’ about the reprieve.
“I don’t know how you’d be feeling… they [the Hockeyroos] have smiles on their faces, but I think deep down, they know that, if that was happening to you…it’s amateur and unfortunate,” Parker said.
“That would be a national outrage, if that happened to Australia,” Nicholson added.
From there, all the fight went out of India, with three consecutive penalties denied by Australian keeper Jocelyn Bartram.
With Australia recovering from the early jitters to sink their three with ease, a Navneet Kaur miss would seal a shootout win, and spark scenes of joy among the Hockeyroos.
Unsurprisingly, Indian fans have taken to social media to vent their anger, accusing the Australians of cheating and saying it was a ‘black day for hockey’.
They will take on hosts England in the gold medal match late on Sunday night (AEST), who reached the final via their own penalty shootout win over New Zealand.