Australia’s men extended their unbeaten run to five matches with a convincing victory over Spain as FIH Hockey Pro League action continued in Rourkela, India on Wednesday.

As they have done in several of their previous matches, the Kookaburras came from behind to beat the Spanish 4-1 in an encounter where the Red Sticks were left to rue numerous missed shots and ill-discipline.

In the other match of the day, hosts India and the table-topping Netherlands played to an enthralling 1-1 draw before the Dutch clinched the win 4-2 in a shootout.


(Men’s) Spain 1 – 4 Australia

Pepe Cunill ran out for Spain for a 50th time in a losing cause as Australia came from behind to win 4-1. The match got off to a flying start with two excellent team goals. Pere Amat gave the Red Sticks the lead with a second-minute tap-in before Flynn Ogilvie responded for the Kookaburras two minutes later. Nathan Ephraums then put Australia ahead with skilful work close to the goalkeeper in the eighth minute before both keepers had the final say in the quarter. Johan Durst made a good double save for Australia and Rafael Revilla saved two drag flicks as the clock ran down. The second quarter produced fewer opportunities until Jeremy Hayward’s drag flick for Australia screamed in off the postman’s head in the 25th minute. Spain laced a shot wide in the final seconds of the half and Australia led 3-1 at the break.

The second half was hard-fought and physical, and both teams were creative and looked dangerous if they found space to attack. The Kookaburras had a good spell towards the end of the third quarter and were rewarded when Tim Brand squeezed in a field goal in the 44th minute. That ended the scoring but not the action as Australia picked up a green card and Spain were handed two yellows in the final quarter. 

The player of the match once again went to Jake Whetton of Australia who said: “It’s good for us to start this campaign here in the second leg in Rourkela, a fantastic stadium, and a good win for us tonight.”

(Men’s) India 1 - 1 Netherlands (SO: 2 - 4)


The Netherlands and hosts India played out a cracking 1-1 draw to earn a point each, with the Dutch winning the shootout 4-2 for a bonus point. The Indians created the first scoring opportunities of the match, but it was Floris Middendorp who pounced on a rebound to score his first international goal for the Netherlands in the fourth minute. Krishan Pathak then made a crucial double save off a penalty corner as the clock ran down on the first quarter. The second period was hard-fought but remained goalless, meaning the Dutch led 1-0 at half-time.

India started building momentum through an intense third quarter and found an equaliser in the 38th minute, Hardik Singh finishing sharply from a recycled penalty corner. India promptly threw away possession with a poor pass across their own 23-yard area, but Pathak was on hand with another great save to set up a tense finish. Both teams had their chances in a thrilling last quarter, but when the final hooter sounded the scores remained locked at 1-1, and the Dutch prevailed 4-2 in the ensuing shootout.

The player of the match was awarded to Thierry Brinkman of the Netherlands who said: “I think the shootouts were better than the last time, so we’re happy with the win and the two points, and tomorrow [we play] again against Spain.”


Top Scorer Armband

To celebrate the talented goal-scorers throughout the season the FIH has introduced the Top Scorer Armband, which is being worn by the leading goal-scorers in the men's and women's competitions in the current season, as a visual mark for the fans, and for the players to wear proudly, match after match. 

Current Top Scorers:

Women – Yibbi Jansen (NED) (15 goals) 

Men – Jip Janssen (NED) (9 goals)


To see the current standings in the FIH Hockey Pro League, click here. 


FIH Pro League – 21 February 2024

Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium, Rourkela (IND)


Result: Match 25 (M)
Spain 1 - 4 Australia
Player of the match: Jake Whetton (AUS)
Umpires: Gareth Greenfield (NZL), Junko Wagatsuma (JPN), David Tomlinson (NZL-video)


Result: Match 26 (M)
India 1 - 1 Netherlands (SO: 2 - 4)
Player of the match: Thierry Brinkman (NED)
Umpires: David Tomlinson (NZL), Martin Madden (SCO), Gareth Greenfield (NZL-video)