Australia 2 defeated Korea 1
Australia – Sian Smithson FG 29m, Nikki Hudson FG 55m; Korea – Kim Mi Seon FG 5m.
Hockey Australia: The Hockeyroos overcame a nervous start to overpower Korea 2-1 in another hard fought contest in the second Holiday Inn Women’s Challenge Test in Adelaide.
Injuries to Rebecca Sanders, Emily Halliday and Ngaire Smith meant that Hockeyroos coach Frank Murray called in Sarah Taylor to the side and reshuffled his defence to try and counter the pacy Korean outfit.
The first 15 minutes of the match looked like the reshuffle wasn’t going to work, with the Koreans outrunning the Australians and dominating possession.
It took 15 minutes, and plenty of desperate defence before the Hockeyroos settled down, but not before the Koreans found the back of the net when Kim Mi Seon slipped one past the Australians after five minutes.
For the next 10 minutes, the visitors continually pushed forward, creating multiple opportunities but the Australians held strong in defence with goalkeeper DeAnne Gilbert making some valuable saves, much to the admiration of the hometown crowd.
After finding their feet the Hockeyroos regrouped, rebounding well out of defence and creating attacking opportunities of their own.
Nikki Hudson and Donna-Lee Patrick were instrumental in the comeback, with Hudson playing a part in the Hockeyroos’ first goal after manoeuvring her way through the Korean defence and finding Sian Smithson in the circle. Smithson flicked it past the Korean keeper for her first international goal, and the first Hockeyroos’ goal, at 27 minutes.
After the break, the Hockeyroos came out firing, continually peppering the goals and stretching the Korean defence.
It took some more Hudson brilliance to break the deadlock when she launched herself, mid-air, and hit a reverse flick past the Korean keeper to take the score to 2-1 after 55 minutes.
Hudson’s goal was enough for the Hockeyroos, although Korea had three penalty corner opportunities after full time but failed to break the defence with Toni Cronk and Angie Skirving making some desperate saves.
Hockeyroos coach, Frank Murray, was happy with the performance of his side.
“I thought tonight’s performance was much better than last night’s. They play at such a quick pace, we got caught up in that. We were trying to do too much, trying too hard. They scored that goal, but once we settled down it was much better.”
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