New Zealand claimed their first win of the tournament thanks to a victory against Oceania rivals Australia, although they were made to sweat as the Hockeyroos produced a late fight-back. However, goals from Katie Flynn, Krystal Forgesson and Cathryn Finlayson helped secure a 3-2 win which leaves Australia rooted to the bottom of Pool B.
In Saturday’s clash with Germany, New Zealand dominated possession for long periods but were let down by a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal. That certainly wasn’t the case in their encounter with Australia, with Katie Glynn and Krystal Forgesson quickly establishing a deserved two goal advantage early the match.
Katie Glynn showed a real killer instinct when presented with her opportunity, charging towards goal before deceiving Australia keeper Toni Cronk with a low shot into the corner. Glynn turned from scorer to provider for the second goal, supplying a perfect pass to Krystal Forgesson who crashed a glorious effort between Cronk and her near post to double the advantage.
The Black Sticks were well worth their lead but Australia enjoyed plenty of possession and had a large number of circle penetrations. Despite this, the New Zealanders remained firmly in control, looking both comfortable at the back and menacing on the counter-attack.
New Zealand made the score 3-0 early in the second half thanks to another blistering attacking move, with the ball moving quickly down the right to Charlotte Harrison who eliminated the goalkeeper with a dream pass to Cathryn Finlayson who simply could not miss from three metres out.
Most teams would be unable to recover from a three goal deficit, but Australia never know when they are beaten and pulled a goal back thanks to a strike from Jade Close. Sadly, their chances of recovery were hit when Kobie McGurk was shown a Yellow Card for collecting a high pass above her shoulder.
However, the Hockeyroos resumed their attempted resurrection when McGurk returned to the field and almost immediately won a penalty corner. Incredibly, the Australia routine ended up with the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out by umpire Amy Hassick who spotted an infringement.
Although the goal didn’t stand, Australia were handed another lifeline when New Zealand’s Alana Millington and Cathryn Finlayson were shown Yellow Cards, subsequently reducing the Black Sticks to nine players. Australia immediately took advantage when a flowing move ripped through the New Zealand defence and allowed Casey Eastham to score a simple tap-in with six minutes remaining.
Australia desperately plugged away at the weakened New Zealanders, but could not find a way through before Millington and Finlayson returned to the action. This swung the momentum back in the favour of New Zealand, who retained possession and secured their first win of the tournament.
Review 7. Australia – New Zealand 2-3 - Rabo FIH Champions Trophy 2011
> New Zealand recorded their first win over Australia in Champions Trophy competition.
> The Back Sticks last beat Australia in the 2009 Oceania Cup final on penalty strokes (4-3) after a 2-2 draw.
> Their last win over Australia in regular time, came in September 2007 (1-0) at Oceania Cup.
> The Black Sticks recorded their 7th CT match win in 49 Champions Trophy matches.
> Australia are the only team still without points after 2 matches.
> Katie Glynn scored New Zealand's first goal at the 2011 CT. It marked her 3rd CT goal in 7 CT matches
> Krystal Forgesson scored her first career CT goal. Last year, she also scored against Australia in a 4-1 defeat at the 2010 World Cup.
> Jade Close scored Australia’s first CT goal since Nicole Arrold netted in their 2-1 win over the Netherlands in 2009.
> Casey Eastham joined Megan Rivers and Madonna Blyth on 5 CT career goals. They lead all other players in the current Hockeyoos squad.
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