Day three of the BDO Champions Trophy in Quilmes, Argentina started with a mile stone as the first match of the day was also the 250th match in women’s Champions Trophy history.
In this first match, Australia met up with Spain, Australia having won their first two matches while Spain had been defeated twice, and it soon seemed like the match would stay true to these pre-conditions, with Australia pulling away with two goals from Peta Gallagher early in the encounter.
Gallagher first took advantage of a good pass from Kim Walker for a field goal, then converted a penalty corner laid off to her by Kobie McGurk.
But Spain was not about to give up just yet, and managed to stay in touch with a penalty corner goal from Rocio Ybarra who scored with a straight hit from the top of the circle. Despite Australia having been the better team for much of the first half, the teams thus went into the break with Spain only one goal down.
When they returned, Australia looked increasingly tired while Spain became more and more aggressive as time wore on. Pilar Sanchez finally scored the equalizer from a penalty corner, hitting the ball wide of the goal but benefitting from an Australian defender’s stick that guided the ball into the net.
The match subsequently deteriorated and soon was quite literally a struggle for both teams – as well as the spectators. Towards the end, Australia pushed for a winning goal but were denied by Spain going all out to hold on to their first point in their first Champions Trophy appearance since 2001, and the match ended in a tie.
The second match of day three had Germany take on Japan, both teams previously without points and keen to win an advantage in the race to avoid the relegation match next Sunday.
Japan worked hard and fought Germany tooth and nail for those elusive points but while their defense looked well disposed, they throughout the game found the offense their Achilles heel. The Japanese forwards just could not create any real danger, and true to the saying, if you can’t score them, you concede them, the goal eventually happened.
It came from veteran Nadine Ernsting-Krienke, who is disputing her 10th Champions Trophy here in Quilmes – a record she holds together with Argentine captain Magdalena Aicega. With this goal, 32-year-old Ernsting-Krienke, with more than 330 caps to her name, is also only one goal away from tying the record for most goals scored in Champions Trophy tournaments, currently held by Australian Jacqueline Pereira with 21 goals.
Germany thus moves into fourth place in the pool table, for the moment leaving Spain and Japan behind at the bottom of the table.
The top act of the day followed at 21:15, with hosts Argentina locking horns with World Champions Netherlands. Anxiously anticipated, the match between the two tournament favourites turned out to be the heated battle that had been expected.
Much to the dismay of the sizeable crowd that filled every seat in the stadium plus sitting and standing space not originally designed to house spectators, with several hundred people having been turned away at the gates, the Leonas today could not overcome the compact and coherent Dutch team.
While the home team managed to keep the World Champions at bay for long stretches of the match, the playing field was slated today, and the Dutch victory was never in jeopardy.
The Netherlands got on the scoreboard as early as the 12th minute with a goal from Fatima Moreira de Melo, from a penalty corner hit to the left of the goal and deflected in by her, but then fought through the rest of the first half in an open and rather appealing match to keep Argentina from equalizing.
A goal at the beginning of the second half, Kim Lammers’ first of a double hit that takes her to the top of the topscorer list at the end of day 3, however tipped the balance in favour of the Oranje squad, and they had a number of further opportunities. Only one more resulted in a goal, but Holland could easily have caused more damage and scored 2 or 3 more goals.
With the 3:0 win they still lead the table alone, the only team to have made it through their first three matches with a perfect record.
Play continues on Thursday after another rest day tomorrow with matches between Germany and Spain, Australia and the Netherlands, and the home team and Japan
BDO Hockey Champions Trophy, Women
Results day 3: Tuesday 16 January 2007
Spain : Australia 2:2 (1:2)
10. Peta Gallagher 0:1; 18. Peta Gallagher 0:2; 30. Rocio Ybarra 1:2; 47. Pilar Sachez 2:2
Germany : Japan 1:0 (0:0)
59. Nadine Ernsting-Krienke 1:0
Argentina : Netherlands 0:3 (0:1)
12. Fatima Moreira de Melo 0:1; 38. Kim Lammers 0:2; 56. Kim Lammers 0:3
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