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Hockeyroos hit second half straps
24 Feb 2006 15:52
 

© File/Wolfgang Sterberger

Australia 3 defeated Canada 0
Goals: AUS – Karen Smith PC 37m FG 64m, Angie Skirving FG 60m
Hockey Australia: It took three halves of hockey but the Hockeyroos finally hit their straps in Perth on Friday, defeating Canada 3-0 after another scrappy first half that saw them waste a number of opportunities.

As was the trend in game one, the Hockeyroos dominated possession but didn't make it count on the scoreboard, wasting multiple opportunities in attack.

While the Canadian keeper, Sarah Forbes, was again on fire, she was helped by some wayward shots on goals, and missed set plays, in a scoreless first half.

It was a different case in the second half though when the Hockeyroos came out firing, opening up the scoring with a well-worked penalty corner play the found Karen Smith close to goal. The 240 game veteran scoring her 41st goal with a neat tap past the Canadian keeper who had been left wrongfooted from the dummy play.

Angie Skirving then made it two-nil when she penetrated the Canadian defence with a skilful run that saw her slice her way through a couple of defenders, shoot on goal, then pounce on the blocked shot, hitting it past the keeper for the Hockeyroos second.
Karen Smith then capped off a great second half for Australia with her second goal, after some great work from Suzie Faulkner deep in attack. On the baseline, Faulkner weaved past two defenders then hit a wonderful pass across goal that found Smith open in front of the net; she had no trouble guiding the ball in for the Hockeyroos' third and a strong win.

While still disappointed with the missed opportunities, national coach, Frank Murray, was happier with tonight's performance, particularly the second half.

"Tonight we played better. We still missed a lot of opportunities we should have got. I thought we handled the ball well though and had plenty of opportunities but if you dont take your opportunities at this level you're going to struggle."

"Hopefully it will come together. It's a matter of time though, we'll continue to work with them. I'm pretty sure they'll come through. Some of the players might be a bit comfortable after selection."

"Our defence is right on top and our midfield was strong tonight. I'd like to convert more of our opportunities though. We'll try a few different things on Sunday. It's about performing so we win a gold medal."

The final match of the three Test series is on Sunday at 18:30 in Perth.


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