The contest between Australia and Japan, ranked the world’s two best sides, came down to the dying seconds when Steelers captain Ryley Batt was forced to throw a long, high-risk pass with the Japanese defence swarming.
Queenslander Mick Ozanne came up with the decisive play, making the catch under extreme pressure to secure the ball and ensure his team held on.
“I’ve been stripped a few times before and we’ve had some hard overtime games against Japan in the past so I’m just glad I caught the ball and held onto it,” Ozanne said.
“It was relief. It was just pure relief, and then I had to switch on again and make sure we won the game and that Japan didn’t score a long-range goal right at the end.”
The gold medal game on Sunday at 6pm AEDT will be broadcast live on Japanese TV channel NHK.