Women’s Hockey: Australia 1 draw China 1
Goals: Australia – Jordyn Holzberger (35m FG)
China – Meiyu Liang (63m FG)
Men’s Hockey: Australia 3 defeat Malaysia 1
Goals: Australia – Jack Elliott (15m PC), Will Gilmour (28m FG), Cameron Joyce (61m PC)
Malaysia – Amirol Aideed Arshad (68m FG)
Australia v China women: The Australian Jillaroos and China played out the first draw in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival women’s hockey tournament on Saturday afternoon.
Only two goals were scored for the entire match and the final score read 1-1.
China were the better side for the majority of the first half but Australia’s Ashlea Fey, Lily Brazel and Madison Fitzpatrick were really gutsy in defence to keep the Jillaroos on level terms.
The first half looked destined to be goalless when with just seconds left on the clock Mariah Williams made a great run and played a nice ball to Jordyn Holzberger who converted the field goal to get Australia out of the half with a surprise 1-0 lead.
The second half was also very hard-fought between the two nations as neither side could add further goals to the scoreboard.
With only seven minutes left in the match China found an equaliser when they caught the Australian defence napping, a perfectly executed lob pass down the left hand side of the pitch and a pass across the goal face of goal saw captain Liang Meiyu convert the most simple of finishes.
That was how it remained for the last stages as the two countries could not be separated from the 1-1 deadlock.
“It was probably our most disappointing performance so far, I think the energy levels were a real issue for us, just the really simple things were lacking for us today,” Australian Jillaroos coach Craig Victory revealed after the game. “That needs to change going into tomorrow.”
The Chinese camp was reasonably happy with proceedings today and used the game as preparation for the gold medal match.
“They played quite well, we were one goal behind for most of the match but we didn’t give up”, Chinese team manager Yuxiang Liu said post match. “There will be some differences I’m sure, today we were testing each other, tomorrow will be a big game.”
Three days of round robin matches all comes down to tomorrow as Great Britain and USA play for bronze while the Australians clash with China for gold.
Australia v Malaysia men: The Australian Burra’s have completed a clean sweep of the round robin fixtures at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) men’s hockey tournament after successfully defeating Malaysia 3-1 on Saturday morning.
The result ensured that Australia was the first team through to the gold medal match in the men’s draw.
Jack Elliott continued his stellar tournament by opening the scoring with a field goal in the 14th minute after what had been an evenly poised start to the match.
The Burras were the more dominant side as the first half progressed and they were able to double their lead when Will Gilmour converted another field goal inside the last 10 minutes.
Malaysia let their best first half opportunity slip with less than five minutes on the clock when a field goal sailed over the bar which left them trailing 2-0 at the main break.
The second half continued much like the first as both teams created opportunities but were able to make them count.
Malaysia missed a golden opportunity to peg a goal back when they were awarded a penalty stroke midway through the second half but the shot never troubled Australian goalkeeper Edward Chittleborough as it went wide.
Australia capitalised on the missed opportunity when Cameron Joyce converted a penalty corner in the 61 minute giving the Burra’s some breathing space at 3-0.
Malaysia scored a consolation goal with just two minutes left on the clock but that damage was already done as Australia finished 3-1 victors.
“I was happy with the first half, not necessarily the second half but of course we go into every match trying to win,” Australia Burra’s coach Jay Stacey said after the victory. “We dropped away a lot in the second half so we’ve got some areas to improve in before the final.”
Slow starts are a concerning point for Malaysian coach Lim Chiow Chuan after his side took their time to settle into the match against a quality Australian side.
“I was quite pleased with the performance in the second half but not the first, we lost a lot of balls in transition play in midfield which was causing us a lot of problems,” the Malaysian coach said. “We gave away too many short corners which is crazy against a team like Australia”.
Malaysia will play USA at 10:30am for the bronze medal and Australia and Great Britain will face off for gold at 11:00am.