Queenslanders Daniel Beale (Burras Captain) and Mark Knowles, and New South Wales’ Kieran Govers all on target inside the opening 15 minutes in goal fest against Argentina, who had defeated Netherlands (5-2) and Belgium (3-2) their first two matches.
Govers’ second strike, a deflected penalty corner on the stroke of half time restored the three goal advantage the Kookaburras required to ascend the table after Facundo Callioni had pulled one back for Argentina.
The Kookaburras emerged early for the second half and immediately showed their intent, demonstrating their free-flowing attacking hockey to devastating effect. Close range goals from Victorian Russell Ford and Queenslander Jason Wilson ultimately took the Australian advantage to 6-1 as Argentina struggled to cope with the marauding men in gold.
Kookaburras Head Coach Ric Charlesworth said afterwards, “We haven’t been playing badly. We’ve been making chances but we haven’t been finishing them and so that’s the frustration. So you get six [goals] from one game and you get three from two [games]. Maybe that’s the way it sometimes happens but I’m happy with the result. We relaxed a bit in the end; I don’t like that but it happens. We got a good start and sometimes it makes all the difference.”
Commenting on the impact his less experienced players are having in the tournament so far, Charlesworth added: “I believe we have a good deep squad and I’m pleased when the younger ones do well. Beale, Zalewski, White and people like that are very new and are doing fine.”
The Hero Man of the Match was Australia’s Russell Ford. Speaking after the presentation of a cheque for 25,000 rupees (approximately $450) he said, “It was a hard-fought match, but then we always expected it to be a tough match. Today we really put pressure on them. It is always tough coming back after a defeat, as we had lost 1-0 to the Netherlands but we did well today.”
Youngster Daniel Beale set the scene with a superb tomahawk strike after just three minutes and when captain Knowles doubled the advantage with a low penalty stroke the Kookaburras were already in control.
Kieran Govers netted his first of a brace with a powerful tomahawk into the corner before Callioni pulled one back for Argentina after a quick counter attack. Govers’ second, his fourth of the tournament, was perfectly timed, restoring the three goal advantage on the stroke of half time.
After a lengthy video referral delay, Russell Ford was awarded the Kookaburras’ fifth goal after showing excellent reactionary control to pull down a bouncing ball and knock home from close range.
And Jason Wilson signed off the Australian goal scoring as he finished off a flowing counter attack with excellent perseverance. Wilson had twice been denied by the Argentinian goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi before forcing the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs Wilson’s with teammate Kiel Brown in close attendance to ensure the ball crossed the line.
Late on, the Kookaburras were forced to defend a series of penalty corners after lapses allowed Argentina into the Australian circle but they held on to record the joint highest victory of the tournament.
Speaking to media after the match, Carlos Retegui, Coach of the Argentina Team said, “Australia played very good today and was very effective. For us there is more to look out for in this tournament. We are not shaken up by today’s defeat and will give our best shots against the best teams in the world.”