Hockey World Cup 2018: Australia come late to party, sweep aside England 3-0
Given the difference in world rankings, and the outcome of the last 10 matches --- Australia have won eight ties against England ---, it was expected to be an easy outing for the Kookaburras. But the way England defenders, including goalkeeper George Pinner, played in the first-three quarters, it looked like a big upset was on the cards in the Hockey World Cup on Tuesday.
But, then, in the last quarter, Australia showed why they are the No 1 ranked side. The defending champions, who are on a hat-trick of world titles, Australia outclassed England 3-0 to almost confirm their quarter-final berth by direct qualification. They now face China in their last Pool B match. On the other hand, England will have to wait for the outcome of the Ireland vs China tie to keep their hopes alive of making it to the quarters via the crossover route.
“It was a great match and I can say the England defence put up a great show and didn’t give much room to our forwards. But we knew that it’s our game and finally in the fourth quarter, we broke the deadlock and the scoreline is satisfactory,” said Australian coach Colin Batch.
“There were some lapses from our forwards in the first-three quarters and we will work on them before going into the final league game.
“We will play China in our last pool match and our only concern is that we haven’t seen much of them and don’t have substantial inputs to analyse their game. But we are hoping for a a positive result,” says Batch.
Australia took the lead in the 47th minute when Jake Whetton scored a field goal. After that, the Kookaburras held sway, completing the domination by scoring two more goals in the next nine minutes through Blake Glovers (50’) and Corey Weyer (56’).
“Our co-captaincy is working really well and you can see that. Eddie Ockenden and I are sharing the responsibilities quite well. It is a unique setup but as long as it works, we are happy. We were under no pressure. We are here to play fearless hockey and eventually the result says everything,” said Australia captain Aran Zalewski.
In the other match, China took the lead in the 43rd minute when Jin Guo scored off a penalty corner. In the very next minute, Ireland’s Alan Sothern scored the equaliser to make it 1-1.
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