Aussies into Champions Trophy Semi Final
12 December 2014
HOCKEY: The Kookaburras remain in contention to win a sixth successive Champions Trophy title this weekend after sealing their place in Saturday’s semi finals with a 4-2 win over Argentina in a must-win quarter final.
Simon Orchard’s 50th goal for Australia gave the Kookaburras the perfect start, although they had to work for the result after falling behind shortly after half time. Argentina captain Matias Paredes levelled the scores immediately after quarter time and Manuel Brunet put Los Leones ahead five minutes into the second half. But Australia were behind for just two minutes before Jeremy Hayward rifled a penalty corner home for 2-2.
Daniel Beale then swept home to put the Kookaburras back in front and Chris Ciriello doubled the advantage with a trademark penalty corner flick low into the bottom corner with just over ten minutes remaining. The Kookaburras will face the winner of the quarter final between European rivals England and Germany while Pakistan, who shocked World Cup silver medallists, the Netherlands, 4-2, will face either Belgium or India in the second semi final.
Speaking after the match, Kookaburras Head Coach Graham Reid said, “It was a good result. We got some good returns today. We got an early goal and a good start but we let it slide a bit in the second quarter. It was a good learning experience to go behind early in the third quarter then get even and get back in front.
“I’m pleased but not satisfied. Our objective coming here was to progress and develop. There were some good signs today from a couple of the young guys. We’re developing leadership within the group and a few people showed leadership today, not just from the captain and the senior players but all the way through.”
With a word for Simon Orchard, for whom it was his 50th international goal, Reid said, “He’s unconventional from a goal scoring perspective. He usually likes his tomas. That near post area is usually Whetty's [Jake Whetton] position so he showed some flexibility getting there.”
The schedule for Saturday's semi finals will be confirmed following the conclusion of the quarter finals overnight Thursday.