The Hockeyroos picked a bad time to start granting goals.
The Aussies have been denied gold at the Commonwealth Games after England came out firing in the final on Monday morning (AEST).
The tough loss extends the Hockeyroos’ eight-year drought in major championships.
The Hockeyroos have not won a Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games or World Cup since the Glasgow Games in 2014.
It is back-to-back silver medals for the Aussies after New Zealand also stunned them in the final four years ago.
It was a heartbreaking result for the Hockeyroos, who fought so bravely against a wild home crowd in Birmingham.
In the end, they were left to rue a second quarter where England scored two crucial goals. That was enough for England to win 2-1, relegating the Aussies to the silver medal.
It was the first time England has ever won hockey gold at the Commonwealth Games.
Former Hockeyroos star Georgie Parker said Australia just didn’t have the firepower up front to get back into the contest after they fell behind.
“Australia were just a little bit off it today,” she said in commentary on Channel 7.
“Besides our first opening matches it has been hard for us to score. We’ve had just four goals in the last three matches. And that was the thing that’s happened here. Australia not able to get the win today, but it was not without effort.”
The Hockeyroos were on the back foot in the first quarter and had to defend three consecutive corners to keep the scores locked at 0-0 at quarter-time.
However, the Aussies finally conceded — for the first time in the entire tournament — when Holly Hunt popped up unmarked in the circle and tapped in a goal.
England had a second just a few minutes later when Tess Howard deflected a shot at close range. The goal came after Penny Squibb failed to track an England runner, allowing the opposition to get inside the circle.
It was very nearly game over in the third quarter when England hit the post from a penalty corner, but Australia still had a heartbeat heading into the fourth quarter trailing 2-0.
The Hockeyroos’ moment arrived with five minutes to go when they earned a penalty corner, but there was simply no getting past England keeper Madeleine Hinch.
They were doing everything they could and started improvising attacking moves to try and unsettle the English defence. Nothing worked.
“It’s chaos. Absolute chaos,” Parker said.
“I like that they are doing a variation there. Straight penalties haven’t gone to plan. They just have not been able to score them. They’re working around and it looks like a bunch of tired girls there.”
Australia scored a late consolation goal through Rosie Malone with 19 seconds remaining, but it was not enough to make England nervous before the final whistle was blown.
The Aussies had moved through to the final after a blockbuster semi-final win over India that exploded in controversy.