Pro League: Spain Go 7 Points Cleat At The Top Sport-rated
Red Sticks double over Kookaburras as Hockeyroos top United Eagles
The action continued from the 2022/23 FIH Hockey Pro League mini-tournament in Hobart as Spain continued their red-hot form, relying on their excellent defense to get the better of the hosts and stretching their lead at the top of the table. table to 7 points. In the women’s competition, hosts Australia faced the USA in another fascinating game that produced plenty of attacking chances for two evenly matched teams, but a late Amy Lawton goal gave the hosts the win and all 3 points.
Men – Australia vs Spain 1-3
Spain came into the game with 2 straight wins and a 4-point lead at the top of the table, but they were up against Australia, who were gaining some momentum, after beating Argentina for their first win of the season. The first quarter was highly contested with teams exchanging possession and territory at all times. Towards the end of the quarter, Spain finally capitalized on their momentum, opening the scoring through Marc Escudé, who latched on to a great long pass from Marc Reyne and unleashed a ferocious shot on goal. Australia dominated attacking in the second quarter in search of an equalizer, but Spain’s deep defense remained strong, with Adrián Rafi in particular having outstanding play in goal.
The third quarter followed a similar pattern with Australia increasing the pressure, but continued to be frustrated by the Spanish defence, this time by Luis Calzado, who came on goal in the second half in place of Adrián Rafi. With mounting frustrations, the flow of the game began to suffer, and with brawls breaking out in midfield, both teams received a green card and a yellow card each. Spain took advantage of the open spaces available with the teams reduced to 10 players to score twice in the final minutes of the 3rd quarter through Pere Amat and Álvaro Iglesias. Australia finally opened their account in the 51st minute when Zalewski’s penalty corner hit the Spanish defender’s foot on the line giving him a penalty kick. Govers dispatched the blow with confidence and Australia looked to mount an unlikely comeback. But Spain’s defense held their lead, with Calzado scoring an impressive double save from Govers and Craig on a penalty corner in the 55th minute, winning the game and picking up three points for Spain.
Adrian Rafi was voted man of the match and said: “Great win for us. We are really enjoying our hockey right now and playing excellent defense, winning 3 games in a row. Hopefully we can get another win tomorrow and complete a perfect mini-tournament.”
Women – Australia vs USA 2-1
Australia got the perfect start to the match scoring in the 4th minute through a Claire Colwill penalty corner slipping in with the left foot of Kelsey Bing, who had hoped to have done better with it. Rosie Malone created another great opportunity for Australia when she cut from the left baseline and sent a pass on target where Tonkin was completely unmarked, but Bing slightly deflected the ball before it could reach Tonkin, disrupting his shot attempt. keeping the lead to one goal. USA pushed high on their pressure in their second quarter and forced a horrifying turnover as a back pass landed square on Saane Caarls on the penalty spot and a stick tackle before he could take the shot, USA He gave a penalty kick that was deflected by Ashley Hoffman .
Australia and the USA traded possession and territory in the third quarter, but clear chances were not readily available. Australia came closest to a penalty corner in the 43rd minute when a high and powerful drag move from Renee Taylor had worried Kelsey Bing, but he sailed wide to the right of goal. The USA once again took the lead in the fourth quarter, earning two penalty corners in 2 minutes. They opted for a variation on the former, sending the ball to the right for a deflection, but the attempt was saved powerfully on the goal line. The second shot went left looking for a deflection, but it went wide. With 8 minutes remaining in the game, the USA were down to 10 players with Leah Crouse receiving a yellow card and the momentum shifted in Australia’s favor again. Australia finally made possession count as a cross coming from the right made its way to Amy Lawton on the left with Bing on the ground attempting to stop the cross at the front post allowing Lawton to pick a spot and score with ease. relative.
Rosie Malone was awarded player of the match, saying: “It was a great game, we knew whoever scored the goal in the fourth quarter could take the win and we took the momentum and did exactly that.”
FIH Professional League – March 4, 2023
Tasman Hockey Centre, Hobart (AUS)
Result: Match 23 Men
Australia 1-3 Spain
Man of the Match: Adrián Rafi (ESP)
Referees: Raghu Prasad (IND), David Tomlinson (NZL), Cookie Tan (SGP video)
Result: Match 29 Women
Australia 2-1 United States
Player of the Game: Rosie Malone (AUS)
Referees: Javed Sheikh (IND), Rachel Williams (ENG), Raghu Prasad (IND video)