POOL B: Australia and Argentina remain unbeaten in Pool B following respective victories over China and New Zealand on Day 2 of the Hockey World League Final in San Miguel de Tucuman.
Australia sparkled in their 5-1 win against China, while Las Leonas edged their way past New Zealand in front of another capacity crowd. The results mean that Australia occupy the summit of Pool B courtesy of a superior goal difference over the host nation. China sit third, with New Zealand in fourth.
More information about the matches can be found below.
Match 7: Rampant ‘Roos overpower China
Australia’s Hockeyroos continued their fine form at the Argentina Hockey World League Final, cruising to a comfortable and hugely impressive 5-1 win against Pool B rivals China on Sunday evening in San Miguel de Tucuman.
Australia came into the match buzzing with confidence following their superb 2-2 draw against host nation Argentina, and were quick to stamp their authority on this match. A long spell of Hockeyroos pressure lead to Claire Messent’s 15th minute opener, which rocketed into the back of the net after China failed to effectively clear their lines.
A second goal arrived three minutes later, with Kelly White glancing home a perfect pass from Madonna Blyth to double Australia’s advantage.
The deficit was reduced shortly before half time courtesy of a penalty corner drag-flick from Wang Mengyu, but Australia netted immediately after the break when Emily Smith showed a poacher’s instinct at the end of a fine passing move.
Smith claimed her second of the match with another close range finish to take the score to 4-1 in the 50th minute, with Jodie Schulz completing the rout with a perfectly placed overtime penalty corner effort.
Match 8: Leonas edge past Black Sticks
Two goals from Delfina Merino helped Argentina overturn a 1-0 deficit to emerge 2-1 winners against New Zealand in the final match of Day 2.
Yet another huge crowd turned out to watch Las Leonas in action, and enjoyed an entertaining but tense opening 35 minutes. Argentina were arguably the better side for much of the first period, but that did not stop the Black Sticks from opening the scoring when Anita Punt cracked home a loose ball in the circle.
Punt’s goal was greeted by dismay by the home fans, but they were soon back on their feet and singing their hearts out when Delfina Merino fired in a brilliant backhand effort at the second attempt.
Merino struck again five minutes after half time, being on hand to score after Carla Rebecchi forced a brilliant save from New Zealand shot-stopper Sally Rutherford.
New Zealand finished the game the strongest and forced two overtime penalty corners, but could not find a way past Argentina goalkeeper Belen Succi.
The day was a special one for two New Zealand players, with both Gemma Flynn (150 caps) and Sally Rutherford (50 caps) reaching significant personal milestones.
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