Australia cruised to the top of Pool C after celebrating an easy 6-0 win over Russia at Women’s ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach. While Australia, New Zealand and India are vying for the quarter-final spots, Russia’s chances are almost over after suffering their second defeat.
New Zealand v India 0-2 (0-0)
Pool C kicked off today New Zealand taking on India. In a hotly contested match, the two equal opponents didn't give each other much room, and scenes in front of the goal were few and far between. The first 35 minutes had the two teams cancel each other out, but the intensity of the encounter intensified towards the end of the first half, and further after the re-start.
A barrage of yellow cards left much of the second half was played with at least one of the two teams a player short, but neither team could make a difference when the other team was incomplete.
India ended up the better-off team with two second half goals as Manjit Kaur sunk the first from a crowded circle and Vandana Katariya doubled the lead a few minutes later with a brilliant reverse stick shot from the edge of the circle.
New Zealand could not come back from this blow, and continued to struggle to create danger. The clock ticked down for India to take a victory that was celebrated in style by a small but vocal group of Indian supporters.
This win keeps India in the running for a place in the quarter-finals, on equal points with New Zealand before the last round of matches in Pool C which sees India face Russia, while old Oceania rivals Australia and New Zealand will meet in the other encounter.
Voices after the match:
Neil Hawgood, coach India: "Yesterday's performance was better although we have lost."
Chris Leslie, coach New Zealand: "It might be hard to beat Australia but we have to beat them to have a chance on making the quarter-finals."Australia v Russia 6-0 (5-0)
Australia deserved their 6-0 victory over Russia, dominating play throughout the match. Madison Fitzpatrick scored an early penalty corner goal before Murphy Allendorf doubled the lead. Goals from Kathryn Slattery, Fitzpatrick and today’s team captain Emily Smith secured a convincing 5-0 halftime score.
In the second half Viktoriia Alexandrina replaced Olga Chugunova in the Russian goal. The Jillaroos attacked with passion and purpose but Alexandrina made a few tremendous saves to keep the score at 5-0. However, Fitzpatrick eventually defeated the Russian goalkeeper when scoring from another penalty corner in 52nd minute. 16 year-old Fitzpatrick, contributing three goals today, is the youngest member in the Jillaroo squad.
Russia, who are yet to score in this tournament, won a single penalty corner with 21 minutes remaining on the clock. Australia’s defence was reduced to three defenders after Jane Claxton was sent back for breaking early. Russia provided a variation but struggled to control the ball in the important moments.
Voices after the match:
Despite this win, Australian coach Craig Victory wasn't very happy with his team's performance: "We were really flat today. I think intensity wasn't there, movement ahead the ball wasn't there, ballspeed wasn't there, we are capable a lot more. So it's a little bit disappointing in that respect. We are looking forward to Tuesday's game against New Zealand."
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