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Sun, 1 Sep 2002:  1730 (local time) Australia v Netherlands

Online coaching analysis from Mike Hamilton, High Performance Director of English Hockey and FIH Grade 1 Coach, direct from Macau, China. 

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73m  NED Golden Goal:  NED 4 AUS 3.  NED goal by Donners.  Breakaway attack and nice reverse stick finish after first GK save.

73m:  it is interesting that both teams are playing at pace, and both are attacking at every chance they have got.

Full Time Summary:  Game has lived up to expectations.  Very exciting and end-to-end hockey.  High quality skills despite fatigue in some players.  Different styles of the 2 teams have created more opportunities for AUS but NED have made more of their chances.  The change in NED tactics in the game have created problems for AUS but they (AUS) have answered as the game has progressed.  I think AUS will continue with their current forward tactics of using width.  NED are going to have to take the game to AU, so I suspect a tight press again.

69m  AUS Goal:  NED 3 AUS 3.  AUS Goal direct hit by Dobson.  Good work by Powell to earn the corner.

63m  NED Goal:  NED 3 AUS 2.  NED goal by Moriera de Melo deflecting a long cross from left wing on far post.  Poor AUS defence.

62m:  Hudson (AUS) has moved to right striker.  AUS are now maintaining constant pressure on NED.  Fatigue starting to play a part in NED play.  AUS has scored just 1 goal from 8 corners.  NED are 2 from 2.   Smabers back on the pitch, which should see a lift in the NED attack.

58m:  Game has opened up.  AUS hit crossbar off their last corner (Skirving).  Smabers is off for NED, which is a chance for AUS to capitalise.

51m:  NED Goal:  AUS 2 NED 2.  NED goal again by Boomgaardt with same, low flick.

46m:  AUS goal (Banning) disallowed after being blown a goal.  Ruled to be lifted.  AUS have appeared to settle after the initial change in NED tactics. 

43m:  AUS looking quite uncomfortable with the NED press.  I also suspect that the umpires will be tested this half with the game becoming quite physical.

39m:  First the first time in the game, NED are all in their attacking half and are trying to press AUS into their left half, which is currently causing the AUS defence some problems in getting the ball to their forwards.

37m:  NED look very hungry.  They were out at half time waiting for AUS.  May not be relevant but it shows their desire.  De Melo has taken over the high striker role for NED, with Donners having arrest.  NED are also dropping back to a half-court press when AUS is in defence.

Half Time Summary:  From a coaching point of view, half time is critical for both teams with significant issues to address for both teams.  Although AUS are 2-1 up, NED could easily have scored another through the Donners breakways.  David Bell (AUS coach) will be wanting to continue with his tactic of keeping Powell high in the circle, but will want to address the Donners counter issues.  He may well drop one of his disengaged defenders back to be in between the ball and Donners to push the long ball to Donners out wide, instead of through the middle.  Marc Lammers (NED coach) will be reasonably happy with his tactics, but will have to address the high centre forward issue and may change their forward structure.  

33m:  NED tactic of using Donners as a high target and 1-on-1 with Dobson has paid dividends.  She earned the corner that they scored.

32m :  NED Goal:  AUS 2 NED 1.  NED goal scored by Boomgaardt of low PC flick.

28m:  Donners (NED) has just made her second penetrating run with a great chance to score.  After receiving the ball on the half line, she ran in, took the keeper to the right of the goal and hit the ball across the face.  AUS need to address the (Donners) threat, as she looks like getting them back into the game.

26m:  AUS Goal:  AUS 2 NED 0.  AUS PC goal scored by Dobson direct hit.

25m:  One of answers that NED have against the AUS press is to throw overheads from left half, which they can and have been prepared to do all tournament.  We don’t see it as much in the women’s game.    I suspect we’ll see more of this tactic as the game progresses.

23m:  NED are leaving Donners very high in their attacking 25.  The other 2 strikers are playing around the centre line.  Normally they leave 2 high, and 1 back.  This is to try and stretch the AUS defence and create more space for the counterattack.

18m:  AUS Goal:  AUS 1 NED 0.  AUS FG scored by Gallagher.

18m:  2 problems for the NED defence at the moment.  Powell (AUS) is high, so the NED sweeper (Booij) is having to play deep and mark rather than cover.  Second problem is on the outlets out of their defence, left half is getting much of the ball making the AUS press easier.

15m:  One of the interesting battles in the game as been and will be between the 2 centre halves of Smabers and Twitt.  Very different styles but both have a big impact on their team’s game.  Smabers is marking Twitt ‘nan to man’ at the moment which is not her usual style.  She normally plays zone. 

10m:  It’s a contrasting of 2 styles out there.  AUS with a fast attacking game, and NED playing a traditional EUR style which involves solid defence and fast counterattacks.  NED will also be relying on penalty corners I suspect.

5m:  Hudson could have scored on her reverse but the shot went over the keeper.   NED playing 4 at the back.  They are being asked some questions with fast penetrating runs.  AUS play an attacking game and will try to press for the ball in the NED defensive 25.

0m:  AUS played the best match of the tournament 2 night ago vs ARG.  If I had put money it, AUS would be favourites with a comfortable win.  However NED have a habit of producing their best hockey at this point of the tournament, so I wouldn’t invest much.

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