The Australian teams turned on the goal-scoring power as well as keeping clean sheets with victories in Friday night action at the International Super Series Hockey 9s. The Hockeyroos’ 7-0 win against Canada guarantees them a berth in Sunday’s final while Jamie Dwyer scored a hat-trick as the Kookaburras notched their first victory of the Hockey 9s, 8-0 against Malaysia.
While the women’s picture is clear, it is anything but in the men’s event. The Kookaburras lead the standings on four points and along with Pakistan (also four points) and Argentina (two points) can still make the final in any of those combinations. The Green Shirts meet the Australian men at 2:05pm on Saturday with the Argentines following against Malaysia, the Lions a live chance regardless of the result.
The Australian men were lethal from the penalty corner, converting five chances, as they streaked away with three goals in as many minutes before half time. For large parts of the match, Malaysia held their own but the Kookaburras exhibited their class which they will need to demonstrate to see off the challenge of the talented Pakistanis tomorrow.
In the final match of the night, Pakistan and Argentina played out a heart-stopping 5-all draw that left the crowd not knowing what was going to happen next. The Green Shirts, slick by foot and stick, were ahead 4-nil before Argentina clawed back the next five in the second half.
Two scores in mere seconds to Matias Paredes and then Guido Barreiros sparked huge celebrations as the Lions hit the front for the first time, a minute from full time. From the ensuing re-start Pakistan whisked the ball down their end for one more twist as Muhammad Dilber, the tournament’s leading scorer with five, sprawled onto the ball and edged it through.
The Hockeyroos and Argentina will put their unbeaten records to the test tomorrow, which doubles as a dress rehearsal for Sunday’s mouth-watering women’s final. Earlier, Madonna Blyth netted a hat-trick and Georgie Parker scored twice in a display that was even and thorough from the Australian women.
First up, Argentina’s women were never troubled and cruised ahead 6-0 at the half, finally dismantling Malaysia 10-1.
Last year’s Champions Trophy gold medal-winners had seven names on the goal scoring sheet, with three players scoring twice, including Agustina Albertarrio who now has four goals at the International Super Series.
Saturday is Ausdrill Pink Ladies Day, when the teams and visitors to the International Super Series Hockey 9s will be supporting the fight against breast cancer and raising funds for National Breast Cancer Foundation. If you’re coming to Perth Hockey Stadium, wear something pink.