Monday, December 11, 2023

London Olympics Hockey: Australia turn their tournament around against Germany

[img_assist|nid=1576|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=86|height=100]LONDON, July 31 – Australia responded to their opening pool match defeat by New Zealand with a strong performance and a 3-1 victory against Germany at the Riverbank Arena on Tuesday night.

Australia had the better of the opening five minutes, keeping Germany in their own half with a pressing game but, against the run of play, Germany took the lead in the ninth minute, earning a penalty corner in one of their first attacks in the Australia circle.

Germany produced a smart penalty corner play that was too clever for Australia’s defence, striker Fanny Rinne pulling a slow drag-flick to her left where Katharina Otte was waiting on the post to sweep the ball home to make it 1-0.

Shortly after going behind, Australia began a period of pressure that eventually led to their equaliser. In the 13th minute,  Australia got their first penalty corner and specialist Jodie Schulz’s flick was well saved high to her left by German goalkeeper Yvonne Frank.

Constant Australia pressure on Germany’s circle followed, with Jade Close and Ashleigh Nelson both going close to equalising before Australia levelled in the 20th minute. 

Emily Smith broke into the Germany circle, went around Frank, and played the ball towards goal. Nina Hasselmann blocked on the line, but her clearance was batted back into the goal by Hope Munro to make it 1-1.
Nine minutes later, Australia got their second penalty corner, an Anna Flanagan dummy giving Schulz another chance to score, but Frank denied her again high to her right.

Australia used their team referral in the final minute of the first half to overturn a Germany penalty corner, leaving the score 1-1 at half-time.
The second half was a story of penalty corners, with Germany spending too much time defending in their own circle and giving set-piece chances to Australia.

In the 46th minute, Flanagan made her mark on the match, sending her first penalty corner flick past Frank high into the Germany goal to make it 2-1.

With another penalty corner seven minutes later, she set up a Fiona Boyce deflection with a well-timed push to the centre of the circle that made it 3-1 to Australia.

Germany were denied their fourth penalty corner of the match in the 63rd minute when an Australia team referral was upheld, a decision that summed up Germany’s second half.

Australia were mostly untroubled in the closing minutes and recorded their first win of London 2012.

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