Hockeyroos suffer devastating loss to New Zealand27 June 2011
Inaccuracy and a lapse in concentration by the Hockeyroos defence has seen New Zealand inflict a devastating 3-2 defeat to Australia at the 2011 Champions Trophy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands overnight.
The loss has made Australia’s hopes of making the medal rounds much more difficult and will come as a huge frustration with so many chances gone begging and allowing New Zealand to establish a three goal lead before getting on the scoreboard.
While New Zealand made the most of their opportunities the same could not be said for the Hockeyroos, finishing with an amazing 31 circle penetrations to 19 and failing to convert any of their six penalty corners attempts, having now failed to convert any of their ten corner attempts throughout the tournament to date.
To add further insult to injury, it was the first time that New Zealand has ever defeated Australia at the Champions Trophy.
To Australia’s credit they fought well to work back into the game after trailing 3-0 at the 44 minute mark and when they converted their second goal with six minutes remaining, anything looked possible.
However the damage was done early for New Zealand.
Marnie Hudson started things well for the Hockeyroos down the right flank, with the youngster using her pace to work the ball into Australia’s attacking half.
However things went from a dream to a nightmare for the Hockeyroos when after their first penalty corner attempt was saved, New Zealand caught the Aussies snoozing and quickly took the ball down the other end, with Katie Glynn putting goalkeeper Toni Cronk in an unwinnable position and gave New Zealand a one goal lead at the ten minute mark.
The Hockeyroos were further exposed in defence and caught on the back foot yet again only one minute later, giving New Zealand their second goal and sending alarm bells through the Hockeyroos camp.
Knowing there was still plenty of time remaining the Hockeyroos gained their composure and actually controlled the remainder of the half , however were unable to find a goal in the first half despite four penalty corner attempts and numerous scoring opportunities.
Any chance of an Australian comeback was squashed in the second half, with New Zealand emerging from the half time break determined to extend their lead. When they did so at the 44 minute mark, the game seemed over.
However the Hockeyroos continued to push, but still weren’t able to score. Their best two opportunities came when a great pass from Casey Eastham found Jade Close all alone in the circle, but the reverse stick shot travelled just wide of the goal. Marnie Hudson was also given a chance at an open net, but the shot was sprayed wide.
Australia finally received some reward for their effort when Renee Trost gave Close another chance with a brilliant cross, getting the Aussies on the scoreboard at the 17 minute mark and giving them some chance.
Things seemed to improve for the Hockeyroos when their 6th penalty corner attempt went in as a goal thanks to a hit from Kobie McGurk that found Jade Close, however the umpire deemed that the ball had come off an Australian foot and the goal was disallowed.
However the Hockeyroos wouldn’t be denied and when Casey Eastham scored with six minutes to go, the Hockeyroos looked a real possibility of at least levelling the game.
However despite controlling their share of the game and generating far more scoring chances time eventually ran out for the Hockeyroos who were made to pay for their defensive lapse earlier in the game.
Their final round match will be played against Germany at 9pm EST Tuesday 28 June. While the chances of making the medal rounds are slim, the Hockeyroos can still get much from this tournament and use it as further development and a stepping stone towards the London Olympics.