Day one of the hockey tournament at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) in Sydney saw mixed results for the Australian home teams, with the women recording an impressive 4-0 over the USA while the men went down 2-1 against India.
The Australian women's team impressed onlookers in the first game of the tournament, starting strongly via a third minute goal to 19 year old Emily Hurtz.
Strong teamwork by the Australians enabled Jill Dwyer to score in the 26th minute off a short corner. In one of the match highlights, Dwyer was quick to put the ball in the goal after what was a fast and well timed attack.
In the second half, USA returned with a renewed energy, but were unable to stop Marnie Hudson's flying break up the field and sweeping shot into the goal in the 51st minute, which took Australia to a 3-0 lead.
After a yellow card for Australian player Karina Lucas, Australia still managed to improve their lead on USA in the 60th minute with another goal from Jill Dwyer.
The Australian men were not as successful on day one of the AYOF tournament, conceding two first half goals to India.
India's first goal came early in the match, after a strong start, with their forwards and halves moving seamlessly together.
Australia had a series of chances, with three short corners awarded in the space of six minutes, but the Indian defense was too strong to concede a goal.
India was quick to clear the ball and counter attack, but was met with strong defense from the Australians in their half.
In the beginning of the second half, Australia endeavored to break the Indian defense, but were challenged by the speed of the Indian forward and halves in defense.
The Australian players showed their true colors in the 66th minute after NSW player Tristan White scored off a penalty corner, to win Australia its first goal of the game.
A short corner for India in the final minutes of the match proved unsuccessful, but their defense was enough to stop Australia from equalizing in the final minutes.
The Australian team is looking to use this experience to improve upon their start-up for the next match against Malaysia tomorrow night.
In today's other matches the Great Britain men's and women's teams produced spectacular second halves to record a nail biting draw against Malaysia and impressive 3-1 victory over India respectively.
Although Great Britain were the first to score in the men's match, two consecutive first half goals saw Malaysia gain control of the match.
The second half saw a quieter start with missed opportunities to both sides. Malaysia were first on the scoreboard, converting a penalty corner and looked to be handling the conditions better that the Brits.
With five minutes remaining in the match, the game came alive, Great Britain were awarded a penalty stroke and at 2-3 were back in the game. A minute later, Malaysia pulled off a beautiful penalty corner set play and appeared to have the game wrapped up at 4-2.
Great Britain were not ready to give up and a penalty corner goal to the captain McIntyre in the 67th minute saw a scrambling last minute of play and when a Great Britain shot hit the post and rebounded into play, Lewis Prosser put the goal away for his country to keep them alive in the AYOF competition with a 4-4 draw.
Their women's match was equally exciting, with Great Britain regrouping after trailing at half time to score three second half goals, two scored by striker Dilly Newton.
Results day 1 AYOF:
Australia – USA 4-0 (2-0)
Goals - Aus Hurtz 3m FG/ 60m FG, Aus Dwyer 29m FG, Aus Hudson 51m FG
Great Britain – India 3-1 (0-1)
Goals - Ind Katarya 14m PC, GB Newton 41m PC/ 60m FG, GB Bray 70m PC
India – Australia 2-1 (2-0)
Goals - Ind Antil 11m FG, Ind Diwakar 25m PC, Aus T. White 66m PC
Great Britain – Malaysia 4-4 (1-2)
Goals - GB Scanlon 26m FG, MAS Adabi 31m PC, MAS Makbul Singh 32m FG, MAS Abdul Gaffar 52m PC/ 66m PC, GB Bain 65m PS, GB McIntyre 67m PC, GB Prosser 70m FG
Source: Hockey Australia
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