Nail biters and dramatic finishes are what make sports events more unpredictable than any entertainment affairs.
The Hockeyroos, Australia's women hockey team, reinforced that notion and took it to another level. Fifteen seconds away from bowing out with second place finish to England, Jodie Kenny saved the day by scoring the equalizer 1-1 at fulltime setting up an intense penalty shootout.
During the shootout, goalkeeper Rachael Lynch provided the heroics by preventing three attempts by the opponents and sealing the 3-1 victory of the Aussies in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Englishmen who were ahead with less than a minute left in the match.
"That's a special feeling to win a game like that. Fortunately for us we only needed 69 minutes, 49 seconds to score," coach Adam Commens said after the successful shoot-out to ABC.net.
With only 24 seconds at the clock and the Hockeyroos staring at a 0-1 deficit, they took advantage of a penalty corner. Anna Flanagan jumpstarted the attack only to be foiled but then the puck went to Kenny who threaded an array of defenders to put in the much needed goal, sending her teammates and the crowd into frenzy. The win captured the third consecutive gold medal for Team Hockey that was fielded in by the delegation from Down Under and the fourth Commonwealth victory of the Aussies since hockey was included as one of the games in the meet.
During the penalty shootout, Casey Eastham was the first to score after juking out England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch and netting in the first penalty shot. England was able to equalize in the next sequence as Georgie Twigg managed to go around Lynch and tie the count. The next attempts for both teams both went futile for Kellie White and Alex Danson both miffed their attempts, leaving the score at a 1-1.
Then the tides eventually favored the Hockeyroos as George Parker smashed her attempt without ease then Lynch foiled England's next attempt to put the pressure on the opposing team. With Lynch yet again blocking a shot attempt, the win was cemented by Madonna Blyth who clinched the penalty triumph.
The said sequence provided the heavy drama it all needed to cement this as one of the classics not only in Glasgow but in all of hockey. Australia is no stranger to nerve ending games as this is the second time that it has won in the Commonwealth Games in a cardiac arrest manner. During the last one in Delhi, Australia also won in against New Zealand, through the old penalty stroke format.
Tears were shed in those games. This time around it is all smiles for the Hockeyroos.