All Teams Lift Intensity in Invercargill
Day Three was the closest day result-wise in this Tournament. Close games between Austria and Scotland; China and Wales, a game which saw Wales leading from the 44th minute. The match of the Tournament New Zealand held off the challenge from Malaysia.
Match Seven – Austria v Scotland: 2-3
In the first match of the day Austria took on Scotland which turned into a great spectacle. Scotland started with far greater intensity compared to their previous games and had the early dominance against Austria. However, Scotland failed to capitalise on those opportunities, often the lacking the crisp final pass, also being forced into mistakes.
Against the run of play it was Austria had the chance to take an unlikely lead. Austria was awarded a PC for an indiscretion by Scotland in the circle. It was securely slotted by Peter PROKSCH late in the half, thus going to the break with a 1-0 lead.
Immediately after the break Scotland hit back, when Ross STOTT scored from an open play field goal, set up by solid mid field, work having the Austrians baffled.
Teams traded attack for attack, but that was countered by equally good defence and it wasn’t until the 59th minute when the breakthrough was made by Austria, goal scored from a penalty corner conversion Michael KORPER, to steal back the one goal advantage.
The advantage was short-lived – in the 61st minute Scotland once again levelled, bamboozling the Austrian defence with sheer speed and accuracy, Kenneth BAIN netting this time for Scotland.
The game was at a frenetic pace as now both teams desperate for the win but a winner was only decided in the 66th minute, Mark RALPH’s penalty corner conversion for Scotland was the difference at the of the match.
It was a disappointing end for Austria who promised so much from the early dominance and indeed the first goal of the match, indeed still after their first win of the Tournament. This was Scotland’s first win however and Scotland now has a real chance in their next game against Malaysia on Thursday, to overtake [Malaysia] on the points table should they win.
Match Eight – Wales v China: 1-2
Teams began this match full of intensity after the rest day and both teams had plenty of chances in the first half, Wales having the best chances through several early penalty corners but the defence remained resolute; Rifeng XU (CHN) making plenty of stunning saves to deny Wales early in the match.
Neither team could break the deadlock. Teams went to the break with the same score as they had started the game (HT: 0-0).
It was Wales who stunned their more fancied opposition! Andrew CORNICK netting for Wales in the 44th minute, rocketing the ball into the back of the net in general play.
Stunned into the fight back, China replied just three minutes later from a penalty corner strike by Yixian LIU, levelling the scores; this being LIU’s third goal of the tournament.
The fight back was complete in the 57th minute again from open play, China’s Yabo NA sealing a hard fought win in the 57th minute.
For the time being China shoot ahead of New Zealand on the points table but the New Zealand game is next which would be the game of the tournament to date.
Match Nine – New Zealand v Malaysia: 4-2
This was the match of the Tournament and indeed the first game that the early pace-setters (NZL) would be challenged.
New Zealand had the early speed advantage and forced the Malaysians back on defence, being rewarded with a penalty corner in the 6th minute. After two early breaks from the Malaysian players and subsequent green card to the offending player, New Zealand worked a penalty corner variation from Andy HAYWARD which was deflected by Ryan ARCHIBALD (son of Jeff ARCHIBALD who won an Olympic Gold medal in Montreal, 1976). That goal giving the New Zealand team the start they were after.
New Zealand continued to pressure the Malaysians into mistakes and minutes later Phil BURROWS extended the lead with a goal from broken play, extending the lead.
However in previous games where Malaysia was up two goals, they were now faced with a uphill battle with that two goal deficit. But it was a challenge that they responded and just before halftime, netted a penalty corner to Azlan MISRON, thus heading to the break with a smaller hill to climb in the second.
Malaysia continued to rise early on in the second period forcing New Zealand into some mistakes and that from that pressure was rewarded with an equaliser in the 44th minute Faizal SAARI.
Now it was New Zealand’s turn to absorb the pressure and they needed to go searching for a reply to snatch back the lead.
New Zealand was awarded a 52nd minute penalty corner and the ever reliable Hayden SHAW stepped up. Many times he has delivered for his team in the past and we waited if that could be done again.
With a drag along the pitch, it was successful and New Zealand took back the lead. It was a lead which they did not surrender, in fact scoring once more in the 62nd minute with a field goal to Simon CHILD, recently awarded Player of the Tournament at the Junior World Cup.
In the final few minutes with tensions growing exponentially, the siren went for full time, New Zealand taking the extremely hard fought win.
With another day of competition complete and teams fighting to stay alive in this tournament, competition will resume after the rest day once more. We are set for two days of tense, fierce round robin hockey. Malaysia up against Scotland who are after their first win, Malaysia could make a push for the top two if they win both remaining games; and, should China lose any of their remaining games. New Zealand take on China which could be a preview of the final and a win for New Zealand would be sweet revenge as the previous time they met was at the Beijing Olympics – that time being a 2-2 draw, denying New Zealand into the medal rounds.
Wales will want to get off the bottom of the table when they meet Austria, which will be a most intriguing match up.
So, we are set for an amazing two days of round robin hockey as these teams continue to fight for one further place at the Hero Honda World Cup.
BDO World Cup Qualifier, Men – Invercargill, New Zealand
Results Day 3: Tuesday 10 November 2009
Austria v Scotland 2:3 (1:0)
AUT 27mn Peter PROKSCH (PC) 1:0
SCO 37mn Ross STOTT (FG) 1:1
AUT 59mn Michael KORPER (PC) 2:1
SCO 61mn Kenneth BAIN (FG) 2:2
SCO 66mn Mark RALPH (PC) 2:3
Wales v China 1:2 (0:0)
WAL 44mn Andrew CORNICK (FG) 1:0
CHN 47mn Yixian LIU (PC) 1:1
CHN 57mn Yubo NA (FG) 1:2
New Zealand v Malaysia 4:2 (2:1)
NZL 6mn Ryan ARCHIBALD (PC) 1:0
NZL 10mn Phil BURROWS (FG) 2:0
MAS 30mn Azlan MISRON (PC) 2:1
MAS 44mn Faisal SAARI (PC) 2:2
NZL 52mn Hayden SHAW (PC) 3:2
NZL 62mn Simon CHILD (FG) 4:2
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