Australia defeated Japan 2-0 in the opening game of the Samsung Champions Trophy Women 2008, thanks to goals from Casey EASTHAM and Emily HALLIDAY. The second match of the day was an entertaining encounter between The Netherlands and the host nation, with The Netherlands fighting back from being a goal down to win the contest 2-1. Marilyn AGLIOTTI and Naomi VAN AS scored the goals to give their team all three points. In the final match of the day, China defeated Argentina 2-1, with a last minute goal coming from a trademark MA Yi Bo penalty corner. Details of all three matches are below.
Australia 2, Japan 0
Australia were victorious in the opening match in Monchengladbach, defeating a hard working Japan team 2-0. Both goals came from penalty corners, Casey EASTHAM and Emily HALLIDAY finding the target in the first and second halves respectively. Australia will face home favourites Germany in the first match on Sunday, with Japan playing Argentina later in the day.
Australia took the lead in the 18th minute, when Angela LAMBERT flicked a powerful penalty corner towards the goal, forcing an excellent save from Ikuko OKAMURA. However, Champions Trophy debutante Casey EASTHAM pounced to finish of the chance with ease, giving her side an important lead.
With just nine minutes of the match left to play, Emily HALLIDAY smashed a penalty corner towards goal that took a wicked deflection that deceived Japan keeper Ikuko OKAMURA and flew into the net. It was her second goal in Champions Trophy hockey, with her only other strike, which was also a penalty corner, being scored in the 2006 tournament.
Casey Eastham scored the opening goal of the tournament, on her Champions Trophy debut.
The last time Australia scored the opening goal at a Women’s Champions Trophy tournament, was at Amstelveen 1993, when Michelle Andrews gave the Hockeyroos a 1-0 lead against Great Britain.
Emily Halliday scored Australia’s second goal, also from a penalty corner. This marked her second CT career goal and her first since 2006, when she also converted a penalty corner.
Today’s victory over Japan ended Australia’s four match winless streak in the Champions Trophy (3 defeats, 1 draw).
Australia’s last CT win, before today’s match, came on 14 January 2007, when the Hockeyroos beat Germany 2-1.
At the 2007 Champions Trophy in Quilmes, Australia also played their first match against Japan, winning that match 3-0 thanks to goals from Renee Trost, Amy Korner and Peta Gallagher.
Netherlands 2, Germany 1
Home team Germany were beaten 2-1 by an impressive Netherlands side who had to fight back from being a goal down at half time. In what was an exciting contest, The Netherlands produced some outstanding second half hockey, and scored goals through Marilyn AGLIOTTI and Naomi VAN AS to move level on points with Australia at this early stage of the tournament. Tomorrow, Germany face Australia, with The Netherlands coming up against China.
Germany took the lead in the 16th minute when Christina SCHUETZE tapped into an open goal following a superb cross into the circle from the left by Natascha KELLER. It was a lead that they held onto for the rest of the first half, but The Netherlands were always likely to score during the game. The equalising goal came in the 41st minute, thanks to a wonderful strike from Marilyn AGLIOTTI. Just moments after Michelle van der POLS hit the post, AGLIOTTI picked up the ball on the left of the circle and fired a powerful reverse stick shot into the far corner. The Netherlands sealed the victory in the 60th minute through their playmaker Naomi VAN AS, who received the ball in front of goal before her shot came off a defenders stick and looped into the goal. Germany worked hard to grab an equaliser, but The Netherlands defended well and held on for a deserved victory.
This is the first time the Dutch have beaten Germany in major competitions since July 2006, when they won 3-1 at Amstelveen 2006.
Tina Schütze scored the opening goal for Germany, collecting her third goal in Champions Trophy history, adding to her goals at Rosario 2004 (1) and at Quilmes 2007 (1).
Marilyn Agliotti’s equaliser marked her first Champions Trophy goal for the Dutch team and her second career CT goal.
At Amstelveen 2000, Agliotti scored one goal for South Africa. This makes her the first player in Champions Trophy history to score for two entirely different countries.
Naomi van As gave the Netherlands a 2-1 lead scoring her third goal in CT history. In the gold medal match at Rosario 2004, Van As also scored against Germany (2-0).
In today’s match Germany’s Julia Müller (50 caps) and Netherlands’ Minke Smabers (250 caps) and Wieke Dijkstra (50 caps) all reached a milestone in international hockey.
Four Dutch players made their international debut in today’s match: Renske van Geel, Marise Jongepier, Kiki Collet d'Escury and Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel all picked up their first cap.
China 2, Argentina 1
China produced an excellent performance to defeat the much fancied Argentina by two goals to one in the final match of the day here in Monchengladbach. All of the goals came in the second half, with ZHAO Yu Diao opening the scoring, before Noel BARRIONUEVO equalised for Argentina. However, a last gasp penalty corner strike from MA Yi Bo won the game for China. Argentina face Japan in their next fixture, with China playing The Netherlands.
After a goal-less first half, China eventually took the lead thanks to a field goal from 18 year old ZHAO Yu Diao, who deflected into the net following a good save from Argentina goalkeeper Paola VUCOJICIC. Argentina immediately went in search of an equaliser, and it came from a good penalty corner flick from Noel BARRIONUEVO. The game became an open contest, but neither team seemed as though they were going to get the vital touch in front of goal. Then, with just 45 seconds left to play, China won a penalty corner and MA Yi Bo crashed the ball into the corner to secure an excellent win for her side.
China and Argentina have now played each other nine times in Champions Trophy history, with China winning the last two encounters.
Argentina were undefeated in their first seven CT matches against China (3 wins, 4 draws).
At Amstelveen 2006 China recorded their first and only CT victory over Argentina (3-1).
China's opening goal in today's match, was scored by Zhao Yu Diao. At age 18 she is the youngest player at Mönchengladbach 2008.
Ma Yi Bo scored the winning goal for China in the match against Argentina on Matchday 1 (2-1).
Ma Yi Bo is Champions Trophy top scorer for China with 10 goals.
At an average age of 27 years and 299 days, Argentina are the oldest team at the 2008 Champions Trophy.
Argentina's Noel Barrionuevo celebrated her 24th birthday yesterday.
For more information, please visit the FIH tournament microsite: http://www.samsungchampionswomen.sportcentric.com
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