|August 6th, 2012|
|30||Pool B||9:15pm||ARG - AUS||0 - 0||Final|
Unlike the last match of Pool A, where both teams were already qualified for the semi-finals and playing for position, only a win would qualify Australia in this last match of Pool B, any other result would qualify Argentina for the semi-finals.
Australia were threatening in the opening minutes, Emily Smith had an early chance on a ball stolen by Megan Rivers but the pass arrived slightly behind her. Both teams were playing cautiously in the first twenty minutes, avoiding taking any risk in defense. Play was somewhat scrappy and the numerous Australian and Argentinean fans in the stands had little opportunity for excitement.
Luciana Aymar tried to shake the proceedings with some of her trademark long runs, and Argentina was awarded a penalty-corner on a rough tackle by Anna Flanagan. They tried an option but the hit was well handled by Toni Cronk in the Australian goal. A few minutes later, Aymar ran away from the Australian defense but pushed the ball just a little too far to unleash a shot.
Half-time was reached on a goalless score, a worrying situation for the Australian team. Argentina started second period at full speed and thought that they had scored on a goalmouth scramble but Anna Flanagan managed a desperate save on a line to push away the danger. Argentina seemed to have decided that the best defense was the attack and maintained a sustained pressure on the Australian team, but there were no real threats for Toni Cronk.
At the tail end of swift counter-attack between Luciana Aymar and Carla Rebecchi, Rocio Sanchez Moccia forced a penalty-corner, but Cronk was again up to the task on Noel Barrionuevo’s low flick. With time running out, Australia had a desperate surge to score the precious goal they needed but somehow could not manage to threaten Florencia Mutio in the Argentinean goal, even after replacing their goal-keeper with an extra field-player with 4 minutes to go and Argentinean Sofia Maccari received a green card.
Soon the Argentinean fans were singing in the stands, while the Australian players were left bitterly disappointed. With the 0-0 tie, Argentina finish on top of pool A with the same number of point as New Zealand, but a better goal difference (+8 against +4), leaving Australia at the door of the semi-final.
Maartje PAUMEN (NED)
On the result: "Yes it was a really good result for us and a good performance. I thought we played some very good hockey tonight, and GB played a very strong first half. Overall it was a really strong game, we made every easy pass we saw and gave it 200%."
On their tournament so far: "We have played five games and got five wins so of course we're very happy. We're all really looking forward now to the semifinals and I'm very proud."
Kitty van MALE (NED)
On the team's performance: "Tonight we showed we played like a team and showed that we just fight for every ball."
On the semifinal: "On Wednesday we go again. It's all equal again and we're gonna fight."
Max CALDAS (ARG) - coach
On qualifying for the semifinals: "Our goal in the tournament was to get to the semifinal stage and then we'll see where it is going to end, so the first step is done."
On his preferences for a semifinal opponent: "I just want to play. Actually I don't want to play because I'm too fat, they (his team) want to play."
Megan RIVERS (AUS)
On not qualifying for the semifinals: "It was very cruel, we lost the same way at Beijing, very disappointing. We created several chances, we were playing the second-best team in the world, we put everything into it but unfortunately it was not good enough on the day. We tried everything."
On how defeat against New Zealand in their opening match had affected them: "We thought we played pretty well against New Zealand, conceded an early goal and came back pretty strongly. Just a one-goal difference, very cruel."
Toni CRONK (AUS)
On the feelings of team: "We played probably the best game of our tournament tonight so at the moment it's a bit heart-wrenching. But we'll come together as a group, we're a pretty strong and resilient unit and the next game is important for us as well. We'll take some time to mend the wounds, come back together and put a good performance in the next game."
On whether the team were nervous against Argentina: "We love night games and we love playing Argentina, so I'm not sure. Some of the girls get nervous before a game and that's quite normal, but I just think most people were more excited about the opportunity to play tonight and doing as well as we could."
On the team's performances during the tournament: "I believe the stats are that we've only had two penalty goals scored against us all tournament, no field goals. I'm not sure any other team is in that sort of situation, and we still didn't get to the play-offs (semifinals), so that's pretty disappointing."
On whether she thinks she will be part of Australia's 2016 Olympic Games: "I feel like we're at the start of something, and I don't want to walk away just yet. But to be honest, I don't know.
Luciana AYMAR (ARG)
On her feelings on how the game was played: "It felt really good. There were moments we were controlling the game and moments where they (Australia) were controlling the game so it was a very equal match."
On what the result means to Argentina's team: "It (the result of the match) means a lot to us. This game was our classification match and it therefore meant a lot to us and we were very passionate about it."
On their upcoming match against Britain: "That's going to be a difficult match. Obviously Great Britain is a difficult team to play with a really good goalkeeper. We have to concentrate really hard and play an exceptionally good game."
Madonna BLYTH (AUS)
On how Australia played in the match: "We worked our hardest and everything, but you need to score goals to win tournaments. We didn't have a field-goal scored against us, I think, this whole tournament. Our defence was good, but we just couldn't put the goals away.
On her feelings after the draw: "We're shattered. We thought that if we played our best hockey and got nine or 10 points we'd be through. We got 10 points but in the end, like in Beijing (2008) it came down to goal difference, and like I said, we're pretty disappointed. Obviously, when you work so hard for something and you don't get the desired result, you're pretty disappointed. We'll take a little bit of time now and we've still got another game left and we need to work hard."
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:10 pm||Final match in Pool B between Argentina and Australia just about to start at the Riverbank Arena in London|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:11 pm||Umpires for ARG vs. AUS are KANG Hyun Young (KOR) and Michelle JOUBERT (RSA)|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:14 pm||Argentina have so far three wins (against South Africa, New Zealand and Germany) and one loss against the USA|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:14 pm||Australia have also three wins (against Germany, USA and South Africa) and one loss against New Zealnd on opening day|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:15 pm||Only a win qualifies Australia for the semis, any other result would qualify Argentina|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:24 pm||Green card to Luciana Aymar (ARG) for knocking the ball away after the whistle|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:40 pm||Penalty-corner for ARG. They try an option but the hit is handled by Toni Cronk in the AUS goal. ARG-AUS: 0-0 after 25 mn|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:51 pm||No score on first half between Argentina and Australia. Play is somewhat scrappy and not very excited for the spectators...|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:53 pm||If the score stays unchanged, Argentina and New Zealand will qualify for the semi-finals|
|August 06th, 2012 at 4:01 pm||Second half is under way between Argentina and Australia|
|August 06th, 2012 at 4:01 pm||Huge chance for Argentina but Anna Flanagan saves on the line. ARG-AUS: 0-0|
|August 06th, 2012 at 4:28 pm||Green card to Rosario Luchetti (ARG) for tackling the stick. Still no goal between ARG and AUS|
|August 06th, 2012 at 4:34 pm||Australia replace their goal-keeper with an extra field player with 4 minutes to go. They need to score!|
|August 06th, 2012 at 4:35 pm||Green card for Sofia Maccari (ARG). AUS has 11 field players vs. 9 for ARG. 2 minutes to go.|
|August 06th, 2012 at 4:38 pm||Game over between Argentina and Australia (0-0)|
|August 06th, 2012 at 4:39 pm||Argentina and New Zealand are qualified for the semi-finals. Australia will play for 5th-6th against China|