Furious England fans have taken to social media in droves after seeing their team denied a spot in the men's hockey final at the Commonwealth Games in controversial fashion.
Australia's Kookaburras survived a rare off night in Birmingham, with the gold medal favourites forced to come from 2-0 down to seal a remarkable, albeit highly contentious 3-2 victory.
'STUFF OF LEGENDS': Aussie Ollie Hoare in staggering Comm Games feat
Boasting a 39-1 Games record and all six titles, Australia were expected to have few troubles against an England side buoyed by a raucous home crowd.
However, the Aussies were pushed to the brink by the hosts, who shot to a 2-0 lead before peppering the Kookaburras with corners and genuine chances in the final quarter.
Following an astonishing fightback by the Aussies, it was a highly controversial goal to Daniel Beale that proved the difference.
The Aussie's strike was allowed to stand only after a video review, with England protesting that Kookaburras teammate Jacob Anderson hadn't stopped the ball dead before playing on after the referee's whistle in the lead-up to the goal.
— 7Sport (@7Sport) August 6, 2022
England coach Paul Revington was heard offering the officials a scathing review after the loss and Beale admitted they weren't confident, before the goal was allowed to stand.
"One of the more timely goals in my career and very happy for the referral to stand," he told reporters.
"You don't know how they're (reviews) going to go at the moment.
"So the minute it goes upstairs you just have to trust that on-field decision remains then deal with whatever happens."
England pulled their goalkeeper with two minutes to play and wildly scrambled in the final seconds but fell to the ground in despair as time expired.
Australia's contentious winner sparked angry backlash from England fans on social media, who insisted the team was "robbed" by officials.
@BBCSport @bbc5live @PaulWillars @EnglandHockey England robbed with VAR. Aussie 3rd goal allowed, free hit not stationary, so obvious. Why have video referral if the whole crowd can see, yet so called expert CAN'T.
— Phil Hall (@p14pmh) August 6, 2022
Umpires robbed the England lads of a place in the final. Australia's Third goal never a goal.
— Nak Ed Nic (@NakEdNic1) August 6, 2022
Shocking from the video referrals. That ball was not stopped. England’s men have been robbed from a rightful shot at gold. #CommonwealthGames
— Tilly (@tillyrroy) August 6, 2022
Aussies probably edged it performance-wise but England absolutely robbed by an inept video umpire. https://t.co/8ayFdjnMz0
— Adam Chard 🇺🇦 (@adamchard) August 6, 2022
England robbed in the field hockey. Shocking decision. #CommonwealthGames
— Tim Rothwell (@TimmyRothwell) August 6, 2022
— Redders (@Redders99) August 6, 2022
England were robbed. Terrible officiating.
— A Villan and A Bear (@stu_cant) August 6, 2022
Kookaburras to face India for gold medal
Australia's great escape sets up a Commonwealth Games gold medal match on Monday against India, who beat South Africa 3-2 in the other semi-final.
England started like a team possessed, seemingly rattling the heavy favourites and breathing belief into a rowdy home crowd that needed no convincing.
An English fast break produced the first goal, Phillip Roper's shot sailing between Andrew Charter's legs.
Jake Whetton's yellow card for a sloppy tackle didn't help, Zachary Wallace's penalty stroke successful after defender Josh Belz had used his body to deflect a shot on goal.
Roper's yellow card for back chat was a welcome one for Australia, who had struggled to find any rhythm.
A bullet Blake Govers drag flick into the bottom left corner helped settle some nerves though and make it 2-1 at the break.
England's William Calnan was yellow-carded early in the second half for more nuisance behaviour and teammate Thomas Sorsby's ensuing green card briefly made it 11-on-nine.
Australia couldn't convert though, waiting until England had their full complement to equalise.
Belz plucked a pass then beat two men, sending the ball forward for Anderson to hammer home his tomahawk shot before Beale's go-ahead goal.
Coach Colin Batch said his side would take huge confidence from digging themselves out of a huge hole against the English.
"I'm not sure we were rattled but certainly doing uncharacteristic things," he said.
"We weren't as calm and took a long time to settle into the game."
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