The Hockeyroos and the Kookaburras had a double delight against Argentina in the Finals of the 2013 International Super Series Hockey 9s. The Australian teams maintained their unbeaten gold medal records for the third successive year with a 3-0 win for the women against Las Leonas before the men crunched Argentina 9-4.
The Kookaburras dominated the men’s Final as Russell Ford, Glenn Turner and Liam de Young notched a brace apiece as six players got in on the goal-scoring fun. Ford was named the men’s Player of the Tournament to go with his first half double in the gold medal decider.
Australia’s men were at their irrepressible best when it mattered most to lead 3-0 after 11 minutes and 5-2 by half-time.
“We want to play well every time and today, I think we played pretty well. We played solidly, relentlessly and sometimes with brilliance and that’s what you want to do,” Australian coach Ric Charlesworth said after the game, while keeping one eye on the future.
“It’s just another step on the way to next year’s World Cup, that’s the big target.”
The belief gained by the Hockeyroos from the victory against current World Champions Argentina was important, according to coach Adam Commens.
“We can see from this performance today that we can match it with Argentina. They’re a really attacking side and very athletic and the bigger ground suits them.
“Today we showed could match it with them athletically and also technically and tactically.”
Hockeyroos captain Madonna Blyth demonstrated why she was the women’s Player of the Tournament with an outstanding gold medal match including the first goal of the game after just 70 seconds. In goals, Rachael Lynch was supreme assisted by excellent defensive organisation as the Australians kept a clean sheet against the multi-faceted threats of Las Leonas.
Earlier, Malaysia claimed the men’s bronze medal by accounting for Pakistan 2-1. Multiple efforts were required to force the ball, by hook or by crook, into the back of the net, the desperation of playing for bronze on show for all to see.
Malaysia, who dropped all their qualifying games, saved their best for last after a 5-3 loss on Thursday against their bronze medal opponents. With goals by Azlan Misron and Izwan Firdaus, the Malaysians were never headed to demonstrate their improvement during the event.
Repeating the dose from yesterday, Canada claimed bronze with a second win over Malaysia 3-1. The engaging Canadians have been the fan favourites at the International Super Series and showed that they have quality on the pitch as well as being entertaining with their player introductions.
As has been the case many times this week, the goals came just before the interval with Danielle Hennig and Thea Culley making it 2-0 at the break. Malaysia scored via a Norazlin Sumantri penalty but Canada’s Stephanie Gardiner responded immediately to keep her side ahead of the game.