Australia has finished off their pool matches with a
tense nil-all draw against world number two, Argentina.
Australia needed a win against Argentina to progress to
the semi-finals where they would play off for a medal.
However, it was Argentina who only required a draw to
progress and subsequently played accordingly, holding Australia scoreless for
the 70 minutes.
The first half was dominated by Australia who attacked
the Argentina goal on a number of occasions.
Georgia Nanscawen, Megan Rivers and Emily Smith proved
hard work for the Argentina defence.
It was the dynamic Australian defence, comprised of WAIS
athlete Kobie McGurk, Jodie Schulz, Kate Jenner and Toni Cronk, which held firm
throughout the match and intercepted any circle penetrations forced by
WAIS was also represented through Hope Munro, Fiona
Boyce, Ashleigh Nelson and Jayde Taylor.
A well-earned half time break gave Australia time to
review ways of breaking down the Argentina defensive press.
The second half turned into an all-out attack from both
teams as pressure mounted for a result.
With the majority of the play happening in the midfield,
it was Teneal Attard and Kate Jenner who controlled this section of the pitch
for the Australians.
Their tackling and disposal, as it has been all Olympics,
was world class and restricted the impact of the Argentina strikers.
The final 10 minutes saw both teams penetrate their
opposing circle, with opportunities gone begging.
A last ditch effort by the gallant Australian team in the
final minutes, couldn’t crack the tight Argentina defence.
Australia finished off their pool matches with an
outstanding record of three wins, one draw and a loss.
Victories against world number three, Germany, the USA
and South Africa instil confidence in the group leading into the 5thv 6th playoff match on Friday.
Australia, Argentina and New Zealand finished equal on
top of Pool B with 10 points each. As a result, goal difference is used to determine
which team qualifies through.
With Argentina on a plus eight goal difference, New
Zealand on plus four and Australia plus three, it was extremely unlucky for
Australia to miss out.
Australia will face world number five, China in the 5thv 6th playoff. China has had an up-and-down tournament with wins
against Great Britain and Korea, but losses to Japan and Netherlands.
Australia will be hoping to secure a fifth place finish, two
places ahead of their world ranking. The Australian women also claimed fifth at
the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The Hockeyroos match against China will be held at 6.30pm
on Friday 10 August.