Australia's Jeremy Hayward celebrates a goal.
Australia's Jeremy Hayward celebrates a goal. Peter Dejong

Kookaburras bow out of World League playoffs

THE Kookaburras have fallen one game short of reaching the decider of the World League Semi-Finals, going down 2-1 to Belgium in Johannesburg.

The Belgians opened the scoring in the semi-final through Cedric Charlier in the 22nd minute, and made it a two-goal buffer thanks to an Amaury Keusters field goal after the half-time break.

Jeremy Hayward scored his fourth game of the tournament off a penalty corner on the stroke of three-quarter-time, setting up a tense final term.

The Australians thought they had levelled with a minute to go when Kiran Arunasalam put the ball in the back of the net, but a video review found the ball had touched a foot and the goal was disallowed.

"We had a plan that we went out with and we did okay, but it was a tough game," Kookaburras head coach Colin Batch said.

"We did well to come back and get a goal in the final seconds of the third quarter and get back into the game.

"We did score in the last 30 seconds, which would have levelled the score, but it was disallowed on review. It was disappointing but we learned a lot tonight.

"Our drive now is for the final game and to make sure we play well in that."

Australia will play Spain in the bronze medal playoff on Sunday (9.15pm AEST), with Belgium to face Germany in the final.

News Corp Australia

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