The teams with the greatest attacking artillery will take their places in the finals of the International Super Series Hockey 9s on Sunday. The women’s match will see world no. 2 ranked Argentina clash with the Hockeyroos followed by the same two countries battling it out for gold in the men’s competition.
Australia’s women have scored 18 times, one more than Las Leonas but the difference between the two is minute as evidenced by today’s pulsating 3-all draw. Argentina held leads of 1-0 and 3-1 only for the Hockeyroos to calmly edge their way back into the game.
Six different goal scorers showcased the world-class sides with the Hockeyroos making good through penalties to Georgie Parker and Casey Eastham and Ashleigh Nelson notching her fourth of the tournament.
Argentina captain Luciana Aymar produced a terrific effort to tune up for the final but Rachel Lynch repelled Las Leonas time and again, with defensive help and scrambling grit to give the teams a share of the points.
Lynch appreciated the efforts of all on Ausdrill Pink Ladies Day with the weather not always playing its part.
“I felt really good, we had a really good crowd out there and it’s fun to play in. I was very nervous but that turned into excitement, it’s cool to be wearing the pink.”
“Always playing Argentina, it’s going to be tough but we had a good build up getting lots of goals and that seemed to build our confidence,” Lynch said with one eye on tomorrow’s big game.
“Focus on tomorrow... and then we’ll see what happens. We will try to have a good game and take out the series,” Lynch said.
The Kookaburras and Pakistan played a feisty match where a spot in the gold medal match was up for grabs. The Australian men struck early blows through a Russell Ford penalty and Glenn Turner in the first five minutes and the Green Shirts were always playing catch-up from there.
The Kookaburras have not conceded a goal in their past two matches while striking 14 times this week. They will be looking to make it three from three at the Hockey 9s when they play Argentina, who they shared a 4-all draw with on the opening day.
The Lions knew a win against Malaysia would see them jump Pakistan for the berth against the Australian men. Lucas Rey eased the tension for his charges by opening the scoring in the eighth minute and they had one foot in the final with a two-nil advantage at half-time.
The 3-0 result against Malaysia was Argentina’s first win and they have scored 12 goals while conceding nine. They have been the entertainers of the competition with edge-of-your-seat draws against Australia and Pakistan.
Canada will go into tomorrow’s women’s playoff against Malaysia as favourites for bronze after seeing off their challenge 4-1. Kristine Wishart, Thea Culley, Amanda Woodcroft and Abigail Raye all found the back of the net for the 23rd ranked team, while Nadia Abdul Rahman scored a consolation goal for the Malaysians.
Re-live all of the action from day three of the International Super Series Hockey 9s on ABC iview.