AFP/ABC: The Kookaburras salvaged a bronze medal from their London Olympics campaign, defeating Great Britain 3-1.
The Australians often looked like the world's best side - as many people believe they are - and recovered well from the great disappointment of losing three goals in the last 20 minutes to Germany in Thursday's semi-finals, which cost them a place in the final.
They also let slip a 3-0 lead to Great Britain at the pool stage, but there was little likelihood of anything similar happening this time.
The Kookaburras created a hatful of opportunities with their open and direct play, and could have won by more.
Britain's consolation was that its performance indicated a recovery, in its case from the 9-2 thrashing by the Netherlands, which equalled the host nation's biggest Olympic defeat and which coach Jason Lee called "embarrassing".
Australia has had by far the most field goal attempts in these Olympics, and its first goal, after 17 minutes, showed why.
A fast break, a direct through ball to Jamie Dwyer brought a sharply deceptive turn by Australia's best player, who then delivered a deft little pass along the edge of the penalty circle, allowing time for Simon Orchard to get in a clumping shot which bulged the roof of the net.
It was against the run of the play when the British equalised 12 minutes later.
James Tindall took a penalty corner, edged unobtrusively towards the near post and when the ball was played back to him, nudged it cleverly in.
"Today we followed our game plan better, we went after them and were relentless for the full 70 minutes," Dwyer said.
"Today we did it better because we held the ball better.
"Against Germany and other games we didn't hold the ball for long enough periods and that's what let us down.
"Today we played really well and it is good to take something away from this Olympics."
Australia has also had the most penalty corner chances of any country in these Olympics, and got right on top during a lengthy spell in the second half which it earned five penalty corners and Britain was just hanging on.
With the third of these the Kookas reclaimed the lead when Dwyer's first shot was well saved by 'keeper James Fair, only for the ball to hop up kindly for him to knock in the rebound in mid-air.
By now Fair had too much to do.
He saved brilliantly from a Tim Deavin rocket, and saved again a couple of minutes later again from Dwyer, only for the ball this time to ricochet to Kieran Govers, who, waist high, smacked it in to make it 3-1.
The British played the last five minutes without the gallant Fair, using 11 outfield players instead, but the resulting territorial dominance brought only pressure and half-chances.
"The crowd here was very knowledgeable and was packed out," Dwyer said of the Kookaburras' Olympic campaign.
"The rule changes since four years ago have been really brilliant for the game.
"It's just unfortunate we didn't make the final after having such a successful four years.
"We wanted to be in the main game on the final day, but that did not happen. It's still good we pulled it together and are coming home with a bronze medal."
Young Kookaburra Simon Orchard said he and his team-mates were ready to tie one on to celebrate on Saturday night.
"I probably have not had a beer, a serious beer for three or four months," he said.
"Hopefully we're going to Australia House tonight, there's a good crowd up there."
Indians take last
India lost its sixth game out of six when a 3-2 defeat to South Africa condemned it to 12th and last place in the tournament.
It was the first time that the eight-time champions had gone through an Olympics without winning a match.
"We keep making the same mistakes all the time. We have to be aggressive. It was emotionally tough conceding the second goal. We have to be tough in the circle in future," said Sardar Singh, one of the team's star players.
"We have to improve a lot. It's very disappointing. The whole team has been mentally affected."
Andrew Cronje gave South Africa an eighth-minute lead before Sandeep Singh levelled six minutes later.
Timothy Drummond, in the 33rd minute, and Lloyd Norris-Jones, after 64 minutes, gave South Africa a two-goal cushion before Dharmavir Singh reduced the margin for India in the 66th.
Belgium scored its first Olympic win over Spain since the Montreal Games 36 years ago as two goals from Tom Boon helped them to a 5-2 win and a final placing of fifth.
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