‘Aussie Rules’ in Semi-Final battle

England's Maddie Hinch in action in goal against Australia in their semi-final at the Argentina World League Final 450x303

England came up against an Australian side in fantastic form tonight, and with tired legs, it proved to be a battle too far for Head Coach Jason Lee’s team. Australia scored a controversial first goal in the 32nd minute and followed it up with two more early on in the second period to take a deserved victory.

ENGLAND 0 (0)  

AUSTRALIA 3 (1)
Jodie Schulz 32 (PC)
Georgie Parker 37 (FG)
Karrie McMahon 41 (PC)

Click here to watch the highlights from the match.

In the other semi-final of the night the Netherlands beat Argentina in a penalty shoot-out which means that England will face Argentina in the bronze medal play-off tomorrow night at 21:30 GMT. Australia and the Netherlands will battle it out for gold.

Before the game Sam Quek received flowers to mark her 50th England and GB combined appearance.

Speaking after the game England Head Coach Jason Lee said, “I think all the teams that were in Pool A have struggled today, with each side losing [their respective matches] so far. Our group have played in intense heat all week, in contrast to the Pool B teams who have played in the cooler evening matches. We looked physically very tired and ended up chasing the game for most of the match. I was really pleased that we kept at Australia and never gave up, but they were the better side tonight, as they have been all year, and they deserved the win.”

England fought hard across the first 35 minutes, but were unable to maintain possession against Adam Commens’ Australia side who were playing at the top of their game. They created numerous chances in the opening period of play and had it not been for some world-class goalkeeping from England’s Maddie Hinch they would have been several goals up inside 20 minutes.

With three minutes to go before the break Australia won a penalty corner, which Schulz fired home at a blistering pace to make it 0-1. However England appealed and they thought it had been successful as the video replay showed the ball appear to clip Teneal Attard’s body as it flew goal bound. But the video umpire chose to award the goal and England were forced in at the break a goal down.

The Hockeyroos came out for the second half as they had ended the first and they were back on the score sheet within two minutes. This time the goal was from close range; the ball came to Georgie Parker after a scramble in front of goal and she managed to flick it up over a stranded Hinch, who had already successfully fended off two attempts, to make it 0-2. England were on the back foot and it only took Australia until the 41st minute to make it 0-3; Karrie McMahon stepped up to guide her penalty corner effort low to the left past a diving Hinch.

With a three goal advantage Australia were in control, defending deep when they needed to, but always looking dangerous on the break. England battled hard, but with tired legs they could not find a way through the Hockeyroos defence.

The game played out to the end with the same score line and England  must now fight it out in that all too familiar bronze medal match tomorrow night at 21:30 GMT against host nation Argentina.

England’s Sam Quek, on her 50th appearance, was desperately disappointed with the result, “We looked very tired out there tonight and that certainly wasn’t our best performance. The morale in the changing room at half-time was good, despite the late goal from Australia, but losing concentration for the first five minutes after the break cost us. We reacted well from that and created a couple of good chances, but we couldn’t find a way through. Australia is always a good tough game and credit to them, they played really well tonight.”

Earlier in the day New Zealand beat Korea 3-1 and China beat Germany by the same score line to set up the 5th - 8th place play-off matches.

All matches are being streamed live on the FIH YouTube Channel 

-ENDS-

Argentina Hockey World League Final - match schedule & results

Info         Time (UK)     Teams            Result

Saturday 7 December
5 / 8        12:00               NZL – KOR        3-1
5 / 8        14:30               CHN – GER       3-1
SF1         21:30                ENG – AUS       0-3
SF2         00:00 (8 Dec)    NED – ARG       2-2 (3-2 SO)

Sunday 8 December
7 / 8        12:00                KOR – GER
5 / 6        14:30                NZL – CHN
3 / 4        21:30                ARG – ENG
Final        00:00 (9 Dec)     NED – AUS

England Women’s Squad v Australia
Name - Current Club - Position
Started
Maddie Hinch - Holcombe - Goalkeeper
Sam Quek - Reading – Defender
Laura Unsworth - Holcombe - Defender
Kate Richardson-Walsh – Reading - Defender
Hollie Webb - Surbiton - Defender
Giselle Ansley - Surbiton - Defender
Helen Richardson-Walsh  - Reading - Midfielder
Susie Gilbert – Reading - Midfielder
Nicola White - Leicester – Forward
Alex Danson - Reading - Forward
Lily Owsley - University of Birmingham - Forward

Substitutes used
Sally Walton - Wakefield - Defender
Susie Townsend - Reading - Midfielder
Georgie Twigg – Surbiton - Midfielder
Ashleigh Ball - Slough – Midfielder
Hannah Macleod - Leicester - Forward
Sophie Bray - MOP (NED) - Forward

Did not play
Kirsty Mackay - Bowdon Hightown - Goalkeeper