Thursday, November 30, 2023

Australia make their mark with 6-0 win over South Africa

[img_assist|nid=4531|title=Corner strike|desc=Chris Ciriello celebrates his corner goal for Australia (3-0) as South African captain Austin Smith regathers –|link=node|align=right|width=220|height=156]Australia stamped their authourity on the Olympc Games men’s hockey tournament with a relentless 6-0 demolition of South Africa in London on Monday.

The 12th ranked South Africans battled well and looked te be giving the world cup holders and world number one ranked team a run for their money.

But the dam was broken with the first goal of Jamie Dwyer’s hat-trick, a penalty stroke in the 16th minute, following South Africa body contact in front of goal.Matthew Buttrini added a second, 33 min, from open play before half time and Australia were on their way.

Dwyer said: “We knew that South Africa would take a long time to wear down but we had to be relentless for the full 70 minutes and keep the pressure on their backs and hopefully they got tired.

“It opened up a little bit in the second half and we capitalised with a few goals. Overall it was a pretty good result, but we weren’t thorough enough in a lot of areas and we need to improve.”

Through the second half, South Africa continued to battle skilfully but the pace and the onslaught became relentless. A Chris Ciriello PC made it 4-0 (46min), then Dwyer finished off a PC rebound (48min), and added another stroke (58) after he was tripped rounding keeper Erasmus Pieterse. 

Glenn Turner was on the end of a three-on-one breakaway to add the sixth after 62 minutes. 

“I had two strokes in there so you are meant to score those goals. I’m glad I executed the two strokes properly and the penalty corner rebound, so overall very happy to get my name on the scoresheet,” Dwyer said.

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