Defending Commonwealth Games women’s hockey champions New Zealand couldn’t hold off Australia in their pool match.
The Australians, ranked No 3 in the world, won 1-0 by virtue of an early penalty stroke.
Much of the game was played in the midfield, but Australia made more of the attacking moves and certainly dominated the match statistics – 12 shots at goal to six, and 11 penalty corners to one.
Australia have yet to concede a goal at the tournament and the penalty stroke against Australia was the only time the New Zealand goal has been breached.
New Zealand co-captain Megan Hull said it was disappointing the team’s effort had slacked in the second half.
“We can look back on the first half and there was some good stuff put out there,” she said. “But we went a bit static on the ball in the second half. It’s something for us to look at.”
She said the team had had trouble getting the ball from the defence downfield. “In the first half we pushed through more, but we have to take the lessons from the second half.”
Meanwhile the New Zealand men’s hockey team will have to regroup quickly from their 7-2 loss at the hands of Australia.
The Australians, the defending Commonwealth Games champions, overpowered New Zealand, after leading 4-1 at halftime.
Hugo Inglis in the 11th minute and Jake Smith, after 44 minutes, scored the two New Zealand goals.
The statistics were telling. New Zealand earned one penalty corner, Australia 14. New Zealand had nine shots at goal, Australia 21.
While the score was unflattering for New Zealand, there were a few positives. They scored two goals against a very sound defensive unit, and if they can tidy up a bit of their own defensive work they should be much more competitive.
And goalie Leon Hayward had a good second spell against a rampant Australian attack, making several excellent saves.
Both New Zealand teams now face a must-win match against South Africa to reach the semi-finals.
- August 2nd, 2022