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Video nasties cost Hockeyroos dearly
By Guy Hand
09:12 AEST Tue Aug 7 2012

Coach Adam Commens has blamed "unacceptable" errors in the video referral system for leaving his Hockeyroos shattered and out of the Olympic Games medals hunt.

A 0-0 draw with Argentina wasn't enough to get Australia into the women's hockey semi-finals, with a win the only way they could progress.

But the Hockeyroos' demise can be sheeted home to their 1-0 loss in the first game against New Zealand - a match in which a wrong video referral decision cost Australia hugely.

With only one video referral per half, the decision meant the Hockeyroos were unable to use the technology for a clear penalty stroke when Emily Smith was fouled late.

The system also rejected a Germany goal which looked legitimate in the 0-0 draw with the Black Sticks earlier on Monday.

If Germany had won the match, the Hockeyroos would have gone through to the medal round with their draw against Argentina.

"We were quite unfortunate in the first match with video referral going against us - an umpire error," Commens said.

"Then there was a penalty stroke disallowed ... (and) in the Germany-New Zealand game there was a video referral rejected which was a goal.

"Two umpire mistakes and it cost us a semi-final place. To me, that's unacceptable."

Having to play catch-up finally caught up with the Hockeyroos, who were unable to penetrate massed Argentine defence which didn't even concede a penalty corner.

It leaves Australia third in Pool B behind Argentina and New Zealand, and they now play a fifth versus sixth classification match on Friday to end their Olympic campaign.

The Hockeyroos have finished fifth in the past two Olympics.

Skipper Madonna Blyth was among a host of tearful Hockeyroos after a tournament in which they have lost just once, conceded just two goals, and still find themselves bound for the exit door.

"The girls are shattered. You work very hard to get here, to win a medal and I think the girls worked hard enough to have that opportunity," Blyth said.

"We just have to go home, work harder and make sure it doesn't happen again."

The Hockeyroos' best chance came after just three minutes, when striker Megan Rivers forced a good save from Argentine keeper Florencia Mutio.

From then on, Argentina, who needed only a draw to qualify as the top team in Pool B, were content to play a counter-attacking style and the Hockeyroos couldn't find a way through.

Argentina now play Great Britain in Wednesday's semi-finals, with New Zealand taking on the Dutch in the other semi.

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