Action continued from the FIH Hockey Pro League 2022/23 mini-tournament in Hobart as Kookaburras put the loss against Spain behind them to register their first win of the season against Los Leones in a gritty encounter. Tim Brand, Tom Craig and Nathan Ephraums were on the scoresheet for Australia. In the second game Las Leonas avenged their opening game loss against the Hockeyroos in Hobart, winning an incredibly tight encounter 1-0, with Lucina von der Heyde’s goal proving to be the difference between the two sides.
Men’s - Australia vs Argentina 3-0
Australia came flying off the blocks and got rewarded for their early intensity, scoring in the second minute of the game via Tim Brand, who received the ball down the left baseline and after dribbling into the circle sent a pass across the face of the goal. Hernando in the Argentinian goal stuck his leg out to cut out the cross but the ball deflected off his foot and into his own goal, giving the hosts an early lead. There were no further goals in the first half but there were chances aplenty. Martin Ferreiro was on the receiving end of two shooting opportunities but both his powerful tomahawk shots in the circle were off target. Australia had their best opportunity to double their lead from a penalty corner towards the end of the half, but Jeremy Hayward’s shot was well saved on the line by Hernando’s left glove.
Argentina scored early in the second half but Australia reviewed the goal and the original free hit that led to the goal was not taken from the right spot, which took the goal off the board and restored Australia’s lead. A minute later Australia doubled their lead through Tom Craig as he received the ball in the left side of the circle and his low tomahawk shot snuck under the body of the onrushing Argentine keeper. Australia put the three points beyond doubt early in the final quarter as Ephraums won a penalty corner and scored it after the first drag flick by Govers was saved by the keeper, but a quick volley on the rebound by Ephraums snuck through between the keeper and post defender.
Lachlan Sharp was awarded player of the match. Goalscorer Nathan Euphrams speaking post-game said: “It was all about putting in a good 60 minutes. We have had good periods of play over the first two games but we were consistent today and that was the difference between a loss and a win."
Women’s - Australia vs Argentina 0-1
Argentina, looking to avenge their loss in the first meeting between the two teams, were dominant in the opening quarter. They pressed Australia high and launched wave after wave of attacks, particularly finding a lot of room on the left flank. The best chance of the first quarter fell to Eugenia Trinchinetti, who broke through the middle of the field and found Jankunas all alone on the left side of the circle. Jankunas played the pass back to the path of Trinchinetti who was bursting in from the centre of the circle but her diving deflection was saved by Power. The momentum swung in the second quarter as Toccalino was given a green card for a deliberate foul that stopped an Australian counter attack. Australia finally came out of their shell and started pressing Argentina higher in their own territory, but they too were not able to convert on their possession and territory as the game went into half time at 0-0.
Australia won the first penalty corner of the game in the 35th minute but the low flick was stopped by Toccalino and while the rebound fell to Australia, Toccalino was on hand once again to get in front of the shot and block it again. The game opened up as Albertarrio’s shot was saved on one end by Power and a quick counter by Australia allowed them to go 3-on-1 in the circle but Gorzelany intercepted Colwill’s pass before she could find a teammate. Argentina finally opened the scoring as Penny Squibb fouled Albertarrio in the Australian defensive 25. The resulting penalty corner was not controlled at the top of the circle for Gorzelany, but Lucina von der Heyde took control and pulled the ball into the circle, unleashing a powerful hit that took a wicked deflection off Squibb’s stick and managed to beat Power. Australia’s search for an equaliser was hurt by Tonkin and Smith receiving a green and yellow card respectively in the 54th minute that gave Argentina enough impetus to see the game through to the final whistle.
Rocio Sanchez was awarded player of the match and said: “We were better in defence today than in the first game against Australia which made the difference, and we got the important goal to get the win in what was a tough game overall.”
FIH Pro League – 3 March 2023
Tasmania Hockey Center, Hobart (AUS)
Result: Men’s Match 22
Australia 3-0 Argentina
Player of the Game: Lachlan Sharp (AUS)
Umpires: Javed Sheikh (IND), David Tomlinson (NZL), Rachel Williams (ENG-video)
Result: Women’s Match 28
Australia 0-1 Argentina
Player of the Game: Rocio Sanchez (ARG)
Umpires: Raghu Prasad (IND), Cookie Tan (SGP), David Tomlinson (NZL-video)