The Australian men’s team has held off a determined Malaysian team to record a 1-0 victory in the final of the 3 Nation/ 4 Team series in Canberra.
In what was a complete contrast to their previous encounter in which the Kookaburras won 11-3, the result was a mixed one for the Kookaburras who dominated Malaysia in terms of penalty corners, shots on goal and circle penetrations.
While pleased to get the win, and to also deny any penalty corners for Malaysia, the fact that only one goal was converted from 13 penalty corners will no doubt be addressed ahead of the 2023 World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand in late August.
The Kookaburras started the match well, recording four penalty corners within the first 15 minutes, with another shot on goal from Mark Knowles going agonizingly close.
However it was not until the 24 minute mark until the Kookaburras recorded their first and only goal of the match, a penalty corner converted by up and comer Chris Ciriello.
When the Kookaburras recorded two more penalty corners in the first six minutes of the second half it appeared only a matter of time before they would score again. However to the credit of the Malaysian defense the second goal never came.
Malaysia remained under siege throughout the second half conceding 17 circle penetrations and 10 shots of goal.
Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth paid particular attention to his teams disappointing penalty corner conversion rate after the game.
”The conversion rate was appalling. They (Malaysia) were good in defense but it is something we need to pay some attention to,” said Charlesworth.
The Kookaburras and an Australia A side will remain in Canberra to play Canada in three separate matches next week.
Source: Hockey Australia