HOCKEYROOS 3 (1)
Georgie Parker 13’ (PC)
Ashleigh Nelson 30’ (F)
Casey Eastham 34’ (PC)
ARGENTINA 3 (1)
Luciana Aymar 7’ (F)
Martina Cavallero 26’ (F)
Carla Rebecchi 27’ (F)
Ratcheting it up a couple of cogs, the Hockeyroos and Argentina played out a pulsating 3-all draw that augurs well for tomorrow when it all goes on the line for the International Super Series.
Often about rapid movement and gunning it to the limits, the tactical side of Hockey 9s prevailed with neither side willing to give the other too much ground.
With mere seconds left, Argentina had the opportunity to win it with a numerical advantage in and outside the goal circle, but for a tricky bounce that avoided the stick of two prowling Las Leonas.
Victorian Claire Messent figured that the 3-all entree set the stage perfectly for Sunday’s Final at 12:50pm.
“I think a 3-3 draw was fair because we started a bit slow and didn’t challenge them enough and then when we challenged them we scored goals.”
Luciana Aymar snaked past two Hockeyroos, passed it to Martina Cavallero who one-timed it back to the seven-time World Player of the Year to deliver the Argentines’ first on seven minutes.
Aymar was in the thick of it moments later when she copped the ball to her face as she was surrounded by three ‘Roos outside her defensive ‘D’.
Jade Close gave the Hockeyroos a penalty chance and nearly converted it, finding the post but Georgie Parker was in the right place at the right time to square the ledger.
It stayed 1-1 to half-time because of Rachel Lynch in goals for the Australian women. Twice she pulled off diving cat-like smothers to quell the threat of Las Leonas set pieces.
They may have been pretty, but the Hockeyroos were also gritty in pink for Ausdrill Pink Ladies Day in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Through determined defensive organisation and committed doubling back, they denied the Argentines time and space.
Following the restart, Argentina spied the small hole they craved and tore it open for 3-1. Waiting on a ball threaded through legs and sticks, Martina Cavallero was on the spot to angle the ball into the net. Whisking the ball downfield it became two goals in a minute when Carla Rebecchi scored.
Ashleigh Nelson pegged one back on 30 minutes with her fourth goal of the Hockey 9s tournament. There was no finesse, just power when she moved into the circle and blasted away, only for the ball to spill back to re-load a bullet.
Casey Eastham provided the grandstand finish with the penalty conversion, on the reverse-stick at 34 minutes.
Now to the Final, with nothing separating both sides, as evidenced by the draw today. If this result repeats tomorrow, a shoot-out will be required to determine the winner of the third edition of the International Super Series Hockey 9s.
Catch up with the tournament so far on ABC iview here.
See all the action from Sunday’s Final on ABC 1 from 3:30pm in your state.
Written by Joe Sarsero