[img_assist|nid=7924|title=Hockey Australia|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=81]KOOKABURRAS 0 (0)
KOREA 0 (0)
Korea win shoot-out competition 4-1.
Kookaburras fans witnessed one of those rare sights in the opening match between Australia’s men and Korea in Perth on Friday night – a nil nil draw. And while the best of the goal scoring chances fell to his side, Head Coach Ric Charlesworth was full of praise for his defensive unit which featured, among others, debutant Andrew Philpott (VIC).
Speaking immediately after watching the subsequent shoot-out competition, which Korea won 4-1, Charlesworth said: “I thought it was a pretty good defensive performance, we hardly gave them an opportunity to score, we had four penalty corners ourselves and they didn’t get any.”
Acknowledging his side could have won the match in normal time, Charlesworth added: “We didn’t take our chances, we had enough opportunities but this is where hockey’s going. It’s 11 men in the twenty five; penetrating that area’s pretty difficult. You’ve got to make those opportunities work for you.
“It’s a good start for us. It’s a good reminder of what it’s about. They’re a very good team.”
It was a night of firsts with Philpott, who came off the bench, and Tamworth’s Matthew Willis (NSW) making their first appearances for the Kookaburras. And, in preparation for the forthcoming World League, the match featured the first application at international level of the regulation allowing players to play the ball above shoulder height, provided that it is not dangerous or leading to danger.
Jacob Whetton had Australia’s first sight of goal inside five minutes but his close range sweep from an acute angle was easily dealt with by the Korean goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho, who also blocked Aran Zalewski’s tomahawk effort soon after. Five minutes later, it was Lee’s opposite number Tristan Clemons pulling off the saves, firstly with a well-timed right foot at full stretch before a solid block from Hwang Tea Il’s shot on the turn.
A brace of penalty corners failed to break the deadlock late in the first half including one from five times World Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer, who saw his shot saved by Lee before the goalkeeper acrobatically saved the follow up. Further chances at the start of the second half saw another corner blocked and the Kookaburras hit the post, but it was the defensive efforts of Joel Carroll, Kiel Brown, Deavin and Philpott that stood out as the game progressed.
Korea’s counter attacking style kept the Kookaburras’ back line on its toes throughout and on the one occasion late in the game that Australia lured Korea forward enough to launch a counter attack of their own, Glenn Turner saw his pass to Jason Wilson snuffed out by a sliding interception by Jung Man Jae.
With the scores level at full time, the shoot-out competition was used to separate the two sides and to allow the teams to practice ahead of the World League. Korea scored their first four efforts while Australia’s Rob Hammond, Matthew Ghodes and Jamie Dwyer had their shots blocked and Russell Ford chipped over. Taking Australia’s second, Aran Zalewski scored, while George Bazeley, who replaced Tristan Clemons at half time, blocked Korea’s final attempt.
The second match of the four game series takes place on Sunday 5 May, at 4:00pm WST. All four matches in the series are being live streamed on the Hockey Australia website at www.hockey.org.au.
Kookaburras Squad v Korea, 3 May
(Listed alphabetically by surname)
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD), Kiel Brown (Toowoomba, QLD), Joel Carroll (Darwin, NT), Tristan Clemons (Bunbury, WA), Tim Deavin (Launceston, TAS), Matthew Willis (Tamworth, NSW),
Jason Wilson (Kingscliff, QLD), Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA), Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD), Glenn Simpson (Melbourne, VIC), Jacob Whetton (Brisbane, QLD)
Chris Bausor (Perth, WA), Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD), Russell Ford (Eltham, VIC), Andrew Philpott (Melbourne, VIC), Glenn Turner (Goulburn, NSW)
George Bazeley (Melbourne, VIC)
Did Not Play
Nick Budgeon (Launceston, TAS), Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT), Liam De Young (Brisbane, QLD), Jeremy Edwards (Hobart, TAS), Rob Hammond (Townsville, QLD), Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA), Josh Miller (Goulburn, NSW), Dan Mirecki (Melbourne, VIC), Trent Mitton (Perth, WA), Tom Wickham (Adelaide, SA)