It was a super day at the Yingdong Natatorium with this result a draw between the top two in Group A while the top two in Group B also drew, their match.
United States of America were held to a 9-all draw by Italy in the same manner as the first game while China dismissed European and World League champion Russia to the 7th and 8th play-off with a crushing 13-11 decision. The Netherlands beat Greece 9-6.
The two draws mean that the group winners will not be decided until Friday.
The Aussie Stingers blew a two-goal advantage twice in their match with the 2005 world champion.
The first was when 4-2 up in the second quarter after two Mel Rippon goals and then when 7-5 ahead thanks to two Bronwen Knox goals in the final period.
At 3:26 left it looked like a win was on the cards but Aniko Pelle struck on extra at 2:44.
Taniele Gofers went for her third major foul, which meant two centre forwards had left the game following a poke in the eye for Nikita Cuffe in the first quarter. Gemma Beadsworth also collected her second major foul in the second quarter.
With 23 seconds remaining on the clock Hungary called a timeout and went to work on a kickout. The call came but from the trailing referee calling over the world’s best referee and many a spectator thought the call was soft.
With just four seconds left, Pelle converted the extra-man situation with a goal for the draw.
Australia took a timeout but the backhand shot on time was blocked.
It was a sad finish to a great game.
Australia now needs a three-goal win over the Netherlands to assure a top-place finish and direct entry to the semifinals.
The only thing decided today was that Russia will play Greece for the last two spots on Sunday.
Group A: USA 9 Italy 9, China 13 Russia 11. Progress points: USA 3, ITA 3, CHN 2, RUS 0.
Group B: Australia 7 (M Rippon, R Rippon, B Knox 2, N Cuffe) Hungary 7, Netherlands 9 Greece 6. Progress points: AUS 3, HUN 3, NED 2, GRE 0.
Beijing, China (August 13) - China d Russia 13-11, USA dr Italy 9-9, Netherlands d Greece 9-6, Australia (M Rippon, R Rippon, B Knox 2, N Cuffe 1) dr Hungary 7-7 (1:1, 1:1, 1:2, 4:3 )
photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse