Australia draws with Germany at 5 Nation Tournament
21 Jan 2008 07:56
Despite fielding a relatively inexperienced line up the Kookaburras have taken it up to Germany in their first game of the 5 Nation Tournament in South Africa, holding on for a 1-1 draw.
With a number of key play makers amongst the group of senior players missing from the line up, a number of younger players took their opportunity to step up and impress coach Barry Dancer.
The Kookaburras took their chances early in the match, with 20 year old Eddie Ockenden continuing on from his good form at last years Champions Trophy to flick the ball over the advancing German keeper at the four minute mark.
The Germans responded with increased pressure on the Kookaburra defenders, penetrating their circle on 13 occasions in the first half.
However the Kookaburras defense lead by Kiel Brown and goal keeper Daniel McPherson held firm, denying all German attacks and ensuring the Kookaburras would maintain their lead going into the half time break.
The Germans finally broke through early in the second half when Timo Wess repeated his penalty corner effort from the Champions Trophy final to put the Germans on the score board at the 47 minute mark.
The Kookaburras defense remained under pressure and could have conceded more goals if not for the superb goal keeping of Daniel McPherson who made several crucial saves throughout the match.
Despite a few close calls in the dying minutes the Kookaburras held on, resulting in the draw.
Debutants Chris Cirello, Simon Orchard and Daniel Hotchkis all made solid contributions, while coach Barry Dancer was quick to sing the praises of this defenders.
"Overall I think it was a pretty gutsy effort. I was extremely pleased with our work rate in all areas of play as we were able to generate some good goal scoring opportunities from field play. But overall it was the strength of our deep defenders that earned us the result," said Dancer.
Source: Hockey Australia