Australia's Under 21 teams have been crowned 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival champions winning their gold medal matches at Sydney Olympic Park. Information about the matches can be found below, with more information about the event avaible byclicking here (External Link: Australian Youth Olympic Festival official website).
Australia v China women
Australia takes gold in thrilling fashion against gallant China, GB finish with bronze
The Australian Jillaroos are the Gold medallists in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival women’s hockey tournament after registering an inspiring 2-1 come-from-behind victory against China.
The Australian defence was made to work hard early on but their work began to lift and the midfield players started to apply a lot more pressure to their opponents and win the ball in the middle of the pitch.
It was China that opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a deflected field goal to Zhang Xiaoxue which was completely against the run of play.
Much like Saturday’s match, China’s lob pass began to cause havoc for the Jillaroos defence and they were fortunate not to concede a goal in the same fashion as the pass across goal narrowly missed its target.
A penalty corner resulted from that play but it was magnificently kept out by Australian goalkeeper Audrey Smith.
Australia was able to contain the ball in their half of the pitch for a lot of the first half and make a number of solid runs forward but really struggled to find an effective pass into the goal circle or win a penalty corner.
The rock solid Chinese defence was able to hold the Jillaroos goalless for the first half and take a vital 1-0 lead into the break.
Australia finally managed to draw a penalty corner three minutes into the second half but Fitzpatrick’s effort was saved by Chinese keeper, Ye Jiao.
China then had three consecutive penalty corners 5 minutes into the half and it was the third opportunity that they thought had doubled their advantage but after a discussion between the umpires it was disallowed.
Jiao made a terrific save of Australia’s best shot of the match from a penalty corner, but the Jillaroos forced another penalty corner almost immediately after and it was the pup of the squad, Madison Fitzpatrick who added another goal to her impressive tournament haul.
Following the equaliser the game lifted in intensity as both teams made a number of fast break down the pitch knowing that they will need to find at least one more scoring opportunity to take the gold medal.
The 57th minute resulted in China winning another penalty corner and the Jillaroos defence and the huge Australian crowd had their hearts in their mouths as the shot was narrowly deflected wide.
Jillaroos outfielder Meg Pearce made a game changing block when China had players clear in the circle and were all but certain to score.
With less than three minutes on the clock and overtime looming Australia’s Murphy Allendorf made a tremendous run across the top of the circle and flicked a dangerous ball into the area that was cleverly directed into the back of the net by Kathryn Slattery to hand the Jillaroos the lead.
China took a gamble and substituted Jiao for an outfield player but it was to no avail as Australia saw off the remaining two minutes to record an outstanding 2-1 victory.
“That was phenomenal, with only a couple of minutes left to be the one that scores the winning goal is obviously is an incredible feeling,” said Australian match winner Kathryn Slattery. “I just can’t get the smile off my face, I’m just so excited.”
Chinese team manager Yuxiang Liu said the girls can hold the heads high after pushing the Jillaroos right to the final minutes of the gold medal match.
“Although they are very young they have played in such a big tournament and come away with second place,” he said. “They played I think quite equally with Australia in the final and played a very exciting game so it’s good for them.”
Earlier in the morning, Great Britain recorded an excellent win of their own when they defeated USA 2-1 in overtime. USA scored in just the third minute with an excellent field goal from Elena Marie Bolles. Great Britain was quick to get back into the game equalising with a field goal from Lara Parsley. The game then remained 1-1 until the end of regulation time, taking it to golden goal. Great Britain’s Hannah Martin was the hero as she converted a penalty corner eight minutes into extra time to hand her team a Youth Olympics bronze medal.
Australia 2-1 China
Goals: Australia - Madison Fitzpatrick (47m PC), Kathryn Slattery (68m FG)
China - Xiaoxue Zhang (13m FG)
Australia v Great Britain Men
Happy Gilmour produces golden goal winner for Australia, USA take bronze in shoot-out
Australia has come from the brink of defeat to reverse a late one goal deficit and beat Great Britain in epic men’s hockey gold medal match on Sunday afternoon. Jay Stacey’s side let a three goal lead slip late in the second half but produced an equaliser and a golden goal winner to claim the Australian Youth Olympic Festival gold medal.
The Burra’s defence was tested in the opening minutes as Great Britain controlled possession and drew three penalty corners in a row. All three were well taken care of by the Australian defence in particular the third opportunity which goalkeeper Edward Chittleborough deflected onto the post and out of danger.
Australia was rewarded for their hard work with a goal of their own when Jack Elliott swept home a perfectly executed penalty corner in the 10th minute.
Great Britain came within millimetres of immediately replying after the restart as the ball slowly trickled toward the line off a Great Britain stick but it was cleared well by the Australian defence.
A fantastic passage of play from end to end by the Burra’s earned them a penalty corner in the 12th minute and captain, Cameron Joyce stood up and delivered his team another goal with a sweetly timed strike.
The alarm bells were ringing for Great Britain when Tom Craig was at the right place at the right time and cracked a deflected save by Great Britain goalkeeper Harry Gibson into the top right corner for a 3-0 lead.
The visitors dominated the final five minutes of the half and won another penalty corner, but again Chittleborough made brilliant save this time diving across the face of goal.
Australia took a very handy 3-0 lead into the break but Great Britain were far from out of it as found their first goal just three minutes into the second half thanks to an extremely powerful strike from Ross Gilham-Jones in the 38th minute.
Great Britain was awarded a penalty corner in the 47th minute which they converted to cut the deficit back to one thanks to a perfectly placed shot from Phil Roper.
All of a sudden it was the Burra’s that were under immense pressure, Great Britain grew in confidence as they won another penalty corner in the 53rd minute and Australia were reduced to 10 men when Casey Hammond was shown a yellow card for a push.
They were soon made to pay for the numerical difference on the field when Great Britain were awarded a penalty stroke in the 57th minute, captain Andrew Bull stepped out to the spot slotted it home to put Great Britain back on equal terms at 3-3.
Another six minutes later and penalty corner was won by Great Britain which was converted by Sam French to give them the lead for the first time for the match 4-3.
The gold medal looked destined to heading back with Great Britain until Australia’s goal scoring machine Elliott scored another field goal that got the Burra’s level at 4-4.
The Burra’s almost stole it in regulation time when they awarded a penalty corner in the dying seconds, the shot was well blocked by Great Britain keeper Gibson sending the match into extra time.
Just two minutes into golden goal the Burra’s snatched victory and the gold medal when Will Gilmour produced a brilliant individual effort beating several Great Britain defenders and firing off a powerful strike from close range for the winner.
“Fantastic, fantastic, it’s a dream come true,” said Golden Goal hero Will Gilmour after delivering to match winner for the Burras. “It was tough, we turned the ball over in our attacking 25 and then we managed to put it in but it was pretty nerve wracking.” “I thought we could always fight back and we did.”
Great Britain captain Andrew Bull put on a brave face after the game but as still really pleased with the team’s achievement during the festival.
“Sometimes that’s the way sport goes, there was a couple of mistakes and we let it slip but all credit to the lads we are proud to achieve what we have achieved,” Bull said following the game. “It’s disappointing we didn’t win in the end but the experience we’ve got out of it as a team has been really positive.”
Over on the other side of the hockey centre Malaysia and USA played out a dazzling bronze medal match with USA winning in a penalty shoot-out. Malaysia trailed 3-1 at half time but managed to turn their fortunes around when Aminuddin Zain scored a final minute penalty corner to draw level at 4-4 and force extra time. 15 minutes of extra time passed and the two nations could not be separated so on to penalties they went. The very tense shoot-out and bronze medal went the way of the USA 3-2 and an incredible hockey tournament drew to a close.
Australia 5-4 Great Britain (AET)
Goals: Australia - Jack Elliott (10m PC / 68 m FG), Cameron Joyce (13m PC), Tom Craig (23m FG), Will Gilmour (Golden Goal - 72m FG)
Great Britain - Ross Gilham-Jones (38m FG), Phil Roper (47m PC), Andrew Bull (57m PS), Sam Fench (64m PC)
Source: Hockey Australia media release
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