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Kangaroo stops play during Australian football match

The 6ft marsupial stopped play for 32 minutes during a game in Canberra.

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The Australian national football team competing at the World Cup are called the Socceroos – but a different kind of socceroo has dominated a pitch for half an hour in Canberra during a women’s match.

The misguided kangaroo made its first appearance on the field at half time during a match between Canberra’s two top teams – Canberra Football Club and Belconnen United.

The male eastern grey kangaroo bounded back during the second half, indifferent to efforts to drive him away and delaying play for 32 minutes.

Canberra official Amber Harvey said: “It was just a real menace.

A kangaroo
The creature got involved in the Women’s Premier League between Belconnen United and Canberra FC (Lawrence Atkin/AP)

“A few people came close to it to see if they could maybe get it to move on. It stood up pretty tall. I think it was just over 6ft, so they backed off pretty quickly. But I don’t think anyone was alarmed too much by it.”

Players and officials tried to drive the unexpected pitch invader away by kicking balls at him, with little impact. Video showed it apparently using its long hind legs and powerful tail to deflect balls from the goal area.

“It didn’t react. It just kind of lay down,” Ms Harvey said.

A kangaroo
People were reluctant to approach the 6ft creature (Lawrence Atkin/AP)

A coach in a pickup truck eventually chased the marsupial from the stadium through a break in the fence into a car park. It then disappeared, apparently injured by its experience.

Although the match was played in the exclusive inner suburb of Deakin, kangaroos can be found almost anywhere in Canberra, the national capital.

The suburbs are set in large tracts of woods and grassland. Kangaroos usually doze among the trees by day and wander the streets at night to graze on watered lawns.

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