Australia backs it up in Beijing
09 Aug 2007 09:59
Australia has backed up yesterday's good form with a 2-0 win over Argentina in game two of the Good Luck Beijing tournament. In other Thursday action, China defeated South Africa 3-0.
With Argentina ranked number two in the world, one above the Hockeyroos, the game was destined to be a tough, hard match. With both teams having played in the sapping heat yesterday, today's result was always going to be based around who could adjust to the conditions.
Both teams struggled early with the effects of the Beijing heat again influencing the match at the Olympic Hockey Green but late in the second half the Hockeyroos began to get on top, creating more opportunities with their hard running and toughness over the ball.
In the 32nd minute, Nikki Hudson broke the deadlock when she sliced her way through three defenders before slamming the ball into the back of the net three minutes from half time.
After the break the Hockeyroos picked up where they left off, working harder than their opposition, creating opportunities and rebounding out of defence.
In the 56th minute Megan Rivers missed a golden opportunity after a great steal and pass in the midfield from Madonna Blyth. She made amends seconds later though when the Hockeyroos regained the ball in the midfield, Hollywood taking it into attack, passing off to an open Rivers who ran the ball up to the box and flicked it over the grounded keeper.
Both teams had further opportunities on goal but the score remained at 2-0 after 70 minutes.
"We played a much better second half than our first," said national coach, Frank Murray.
"We were far too soft in the first half. Our inexperience in these conditions showed but I was very pleased with the second half, we were a lot tougher and worked a lot harder and took some of our opportunities. Having said that, it was still eight penalty corners to four, but Rebecca Sanders hit the post on one and there were some good saves also. It's still an area we need to work on though."
Source: Hockey Australia