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Kookaburras and Argentina share the spoils

Kookaburras and Argentina share the spoils

4-4 thriller as Argentina hit back

Author: Lawrence West/Friday, 18 October 2013/Categories: News

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KOOKABURRAS 4 (4)
Eddie Ockenden 2’ (F)
Simon Orchard 5’ (F)
Daniel Beale 6’ (F)
Russell Ford 7’ (PC)

ARGENTINA 4 (3)
Agustin Mazzilli 12’ (F)
Guillermo Schickendantz 14’ (F)
Matias Paredes 20’ (PC)
Own goal 21’ (F)

Argentina restricted Australia’s Kookaburras to a 4-all draw in the first men’s fixture at the International Super Series Hockey 9s. Australia opened the tournament with a scoring blitz before Argentina returned it with interest, as both sides had claims on taking the victory.

The Lions served it up to the home side and while their performance may have surprised the crowd, it didn’t catch Kookaburras co-captain Eddie Ockenden off-guard.

“They’re a pretty good team. We’ve played them a fair bit over the last 12 months, obviously played them at the Olympics and we drew.”

The 26 year old from Tasmania feels that Argentina will be a dangerous proposition in the Hockey 9s format.

“I think it suits them with their skillful forwards. [Argentina scored] good deflection goals, they have really skillful players and they showed it today,” he said.

Ockenden opened for the Kookaburras on two minutes, taking advantage of a goal mouth scramble.

The score ballooned to three-nil as the Australians hit Argentina with an early barrage. Simon Orchard got his first goal of the tournament and straight away Daniel Beale tapped into an open net after some excellent lead up work further upfield.

The action came thick and fast as fans of Hockey 9s have become accustomed to with five goals in 10 minutes.

Agustin Mazzilli helped steady Argentina with a bullet from the right across Australian goalkeeper Leon Hayward. A well-worked penalty corner presented Russell Ford with the perfect opportunity to maintain a three-goal lead for the Australians.

The Argentines found their feet and had the better of the first half finish. Guillermo Schickendantz closed the gap with his side’s second. Matias Paredes was waiting on the left hand post to deflect home with just seconds left from a penalty corner and the Australian lead had been closed down to 4-3.

There was no let-up from the visitors who drew level a minute after the resumption when the Kookaburras could only find the back of their own net from a Juan Martin Lopez strike.

Momentarily rocked, Australia forced quality saves from Juan Vivaldi twice as the contest intensified. 

Both teams desperately searched for opportunities in order to break the deadlock with time ticking down. Argentina had some clean chances while Australia continued to press for an opening that was harder to find.

Vivaldi proved unpassable, despite the metre wider goals, and carried Argentina to a courageous draw, despite everything Australia threw at him.

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