Australia finished third in the 25th Messepokal in Leipzig, after playing representative teams from Leipzig (Germany), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), London (England) and Sumchanka (Ukraine).
The standard of competition was very high and the Australian players should be commended on their placement against such strong competition.
“The players are bonding as a team and getting used to playing together as a unit,” said Assistant Coach Karen Seaman, who is leading the tour in the absence of head coach Mark Sandhu.
“I am pleased with the way the team is growing and rising to the challenge of playing at the speed of Eurpoean competition.”
Match results – 25th
Messepokal, Leipzig, Germany:
Note: Format for round games was to play 40 minutes without a half time break or time outs. Finals were allowed a 2 minute break between 2 x 20 minute halves.
Game 1 –
Friday 21/1/11 6pm
Australian (2) defeated Leipzig (ATV 1845 e.V. )(1)
Goal scorers for Australia: M Eastwood, S Riordan
A strong game against the hosts and local favourites, displaying skill and strength over the ball and showcasing abilities of the Australian team.
Game 2 –
Saturday 22/1/11 12pm
Australia (2) defeated by Sumchanka (4)
Goal scorers for Australia: T Boucher, E Trahar
The Ukranian team was an unknown factor for the Australians, and both sides were even at 2 all going into the second half of the game, with Australia having scored the first goal. The Ukranians managed to score two quick goals in the 22nd and 24th minutes from circle entries, but the Australian defence kept them scoreless for the rest of the game. The Australians did manage to penetrate the Ukrainian circle to put plenty of pressure on their keeper but were unable to convert opportunities. A strong finish by the Australians with some excellent ball work kept possession of the ball even for the final minutes of the game.
Game 3 –
Saturday 22/1/11 4pm
Australia (0) defeated by London (2)
A physical game by the English initially unsettled the Australians who were disturbed by the unprofessional manner of play. With both teams earning green cards for poor tackles and physical play, the spectators were entertained by a feisty game of hockey. A big learning curve for the Australians who found their strengths are more in proactive play than responding to the actions of the opposition.
Game 4 –
Australia (2) defeated by Amsterdam (9)
Goal scorers for Australia: T Boucher, M Simpson
Decisive, clinical play by the Netherlands demonstrated the reason for their reputation as possibly the strongest indoor hockey side in the world. Again, Australia found scoring opportunities when they played to the team game plan and strategies set prior to the game. Excellent work by the keepers Ogilvie and Herbertson defended the multiple opportunities the Netherlands created to score and limited the final results of the game.
Game 5 –
Semi final 3 v 4 playoff
Australia (5) defeated London (3)
Goal scorers for Australia: T Boucher (3), E Trahar, F Young
Australia played a concise and dominant game of hockey, overcoming England with skill and precision. An early goal in the second minute from a short corner (F Young) started the Australian attack. By half time, the score was 2 all and the Australians continued their attacking drive. The team’s youngest player Tegan Boucher scored 3 goals in the final half, with England only managing one in response.
The Australian team finished third in the competition, behind Amsterdam (1st) and Sumchanka (2nd) with England in 4th place and Leipzig hosts in 5th. The Australian team would like to thank hosts Allgemeiner Turnverein zu Liepzig von 1845 e.V. who managed the tournament, and in particular General Manager Alexander Schlenzig who was also most helpful in assisting the team through the pre-tournament training and matches.
The team now progresses to the Netherlands for a two game test series against the Netherlands National team, commencing on Australia Day 26/1/2011.
Source: Hockey Australia media release
More information about the FIH Indoor World Cup can be found on the special tournament microsite: http://www.poznan2011.sportcentric.com/
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