Hockeyroos to face Russia for Olympic spot

Author: Nic Kerber

The Hockeyroos have one more chance to qualify for Tokyo 2020 in the shape of a two-match home series against Russia.

The Hockeyroos find themselves in this ‘last chance’ Olympic qualifying series after they were edged out on goal difference by New Zealand in a best-of-three series at the recent Oceania Cup.

After the Black Sticks Women won the first match 3-1, the Hockeyroos responded to win the second 3-2. Needing a win in the final match to qualify as New Zealand held a slender one goal advantage on goal difference, the Hockeyroos could only manage a 1-1 draw, consequently sending them through to the International Federation of Hockey (FIH) Olympic qualifying draw while the Black Sticks celebrated having booked their ticket to Tokyo.

Positioned in the highest ranked group of teams in the draw due to their number two ranking, the Hockeyroos were drawn against the number 19 ranked Russians.

The two match series will be played in Perth on 25/26 (Friday/Saturday) October 2019, with the winner on aggregate across the two matches to qualify for Tokyo 2020. The venue, match times and ticketing details are to be confirmed.

The winners of the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers will qualify for the 2020 Olympic hockey tournament which will be staged in Japan’s capital city from 25 July to 7 August next year and involve 12 Men’s and 12 Women’s teams. The following women’s teams have already qualified: Japan, Argentina, South Africa, The Netherlands, New Zealand.

The Kookaburras booked their place at Tokyo 2020 after defeating New Zealand twice to reclaim the Oceania Cup.