Australia finished the three games test series against Korea with a win and a loss. After winning the second match 3-2, Korea was stronger in match 3 (1-2). Australia finally won the series 2-1.
Australia-Korea 3:2 (1:2)
Goals – Kor Nam 4m PC, Aus Turner 20m FG, Kor Yoon 24m FG, Aus Ford 38m FG, Aus Orchard 57m FG
Korea have pushed the Kookaburras in the second game of the 3 test series in Hobart, with the Kookaburras coming back from behind twice to emerge 3-2 winners.
Determined to make amends for their 5-1 defend from game 1, Korea took an early lead after converting a penalty corner attempt only four minutes into the match.
Despite trailing the Kookaburras remained focused in defense, with Matthew Swann and Chris Ciriello setting up the majority of the Kookaburras play from their back half.
In what was a fairly even opening 15 minutes the Kookaburras controlled their fair share of the ball, however were unable to penetrate the circle with any real precision, due in part to the tight Korean defense.
As the game continued the Kookaburras begun to look more dangerous around goal, with veteran Grant Schubert setting up team mate Glenn Turner in the circle who produced a diving deflection to equal the score.
The celebrations were only short lived, with a long pass into the Korean circle beating the Kookaburra defenders and drawing goalkeeper George Bazeley, giving Sung Hoon Yoon an open net and Korea the lead once again.
The Kookaburras emerged more focused in the second half with results coming immediately thanks to a field goal to Russell Ford.
Continuing to apply the pressure, the Kookaburras produced several more close calls around goal, but were unable to convert.
Rob Hammond was a stand out for the home team throughout the midfield, as was Glenn Turner who was a focal point for the Kookaburras in the circle, working the ball to Simon Orchard who gave the Kookaburras their first lead of the match at the 57 minute mark to claim the victory.
Australia-Korea 1:2 (0:1)
Goals – Kor Seo 15m FG, Aus Simpson 36m FG, Kor Hyun 38m PC
Korea have spoiled Mark Knowles’ 150 game celebration, holding out a late surge by the Kookaburras to win the last game of the 3 test series in Hobart tonight 2-1.
Despite the loss, the Kookaburras have claimed the series after winning the first and second game of the series.
Although it was the Kookaburras who did the majority of the attacking in the early stages of the game, it was Korea who struck first with their captain Jong Ho Seo scoring a field goal to set up an early lead.
Korea were given an opportunity to extend their lead minutes later when local fan favourite Eddie Ockenden received a green card, leaving the Kookaburras one man down for two minutes mid way through the first half.
Although Korea generated a penalty corner attempt during this time, Kookaburras goalkeeper Nathan Burgers produced a great save to keep Australia within reach.
The Kookaburras continued to generate scoring attempts, and looked likely to score at the 23 minute mark when Grant Schubert attacked from the top of the circle. Jamie Dwyer was there for the deflection but the ball travelled left of the goals and the Kookaburras remained scoreless heading into half time.
Australia received a boost in the opening stages of the second half, with youngster Glenn Simpson scoring his first goal of the series, leveling the score.
This celebration was only short lived, with Korea answering right back with a penalty corner goal to regain the lead at the 38 minute mark.
Despite the Kookaburras generating several penalty corner attempts in the second half they continued to miss the mark. They were given one last chance with only one minute remaining with their final penalty corner attempt. However the ball was mistrapped, handing Korea the victory and leaving the Kookaburras to regret their missed opportunities.
The Kookaburras will now return to Perth where they will continue to prepare for the 2010 World Cup which will be held in New Delhi, India from February 28.
“I think it confirms as I have been saying all along that we aren’t solid enough yet. Tonight was an important match for a number of young players. We have to finish better and tonight we had five or six penalty corners some missed opportunities. We are a work in progress and tonight underlined that there is still more work to do,” said Charlesworth.
Source: Hockey Australia
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