THE host nation ended their pool games in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games with a 5-0 loss to Australia’s Kookaburras.
Australia’s goals came from Chris Ciriello, a brace for Matt Gohdes, Kieran Govers and Jacob Whetton.
The Scots can look at the game with pride though, Wales and South Africa both conceded more in their pool matches and they made the Aussies wait almost 20 minutes for the opener.
Scotland socked up early waves of attack from the green and cold. Niall Stott, celebrating a combined 250th cap for Scotland and Great Britain, pursued Simon Orchard around the park with captain Chris Grassick marshalling the midfield.
The Australians kept plugging away though and Ciriello converted with a penalty corner drag flick on 19 minutes.
Shortly after Matty Gohdes passed the ball across the goal to Jacob Whetton sliding in at the far post, but the ball was missed.
The same pair linked up minutes later, Whetton returning the favour and Gohdes slamming home the second for Australia.
Within two minutes he doubled his own tally, adding a third for Kookaburras, the floodgates seemingly opened.
Govers’ penalty corner flick was well saved by Jamie Cachia in the Scottish net, but the rebound fell at Gohdes’ feet and he slotted home.
However the Scots were not prepared to roll over and surged forward with a couple of attacks before the break, neither though proved fruitful.
About 10 seconds into the second half, Australia won a penalty corner but Cachia dived brilliantly low to his right to deny them.
Just three minutes later he was beaten though, as the ball fell to Govers in the circle who slotted home number four.
Whetton, credited with the fifth goal, drove down the right baseline and his 45-degree pass came off a Scottish defender and into the net.
Far from downbeat, Scotland continued to capitalise on rare mistakes and build attacks where possible.
Cachia made another save from a penalty corner, and they gave their opponents a genuine scare when Alan Forsythe broke into the circle and teased a ball across the face of Andrew Charter’s goal, but the next nearest attacker was just a yard too far, to the audible disappointment of the crowd.
The crowd were given further reason to cheer as late in the game Cachia made a succession of quality stops to keep the Kookaburras scoreline from increasing any further.
Australia won a penalty corner at the death, but it was again, well defended by Scotland’s defender on the post.
Speaking after the match, Scotland goalkeeper Jamie Cachia said: “It was great.
“It is a great opportunity to play against the best in the world and a great opportunity to test yourself.
“It is a credit to the boys they put in a determined defensive effort.
“I felt I let the boys down against India so it was great to play better today.
“I really wanted us to get a goal, to score one and get the crowd going.
“But England lost 5-0 to them in the World Cup, so…”
Australian striker, Kieran Govers, said: “It was a hard-though match, they controlled the ball around the back and made us run a bit and we capitalised on a couple of opportunities.
“Their goalkeeper had a blinder of a game and kept the score low, which we didn’t really like, but it happens.”
Of the semi-final game against England, he said: “They are a strong team and it’s nearly the same team as they had in The Hague, with just two changes, but we have got eight changes, so it is a new team.
“I am hoping that they are scared of us, it’s going to be a tough game.”