Hawke’s Bay Cup in New Zealand Underway for Pool A
Georgie Parker’s late goal secured a point as the Hockeyroos got their title defense underway with a 1-1 draw against Japan at the Hawke’s Bay Cup in Hastings, New Zealand. Despite their clear dominance for large spells of the match, Australia’s women found themselves behind for much of the contest after Mie Nakashima lifted the ball over goalkeeper Ashlee Wells to open the scoring in the 13th minute.
The Hockeyroos created the bulk of the chances with Japan most dangerous in the opening period when they broke quickly on the counter attack.
ACT defender Eddie Bone made her 100th appearance for the Hockeyroos
“We were a little slow to start and I thought Japan played well in the first quarter but once we got into the game we played well for the next three quarters and created plenty of chances. Japan scrambled at times and cleared a couple of our chances off the line,” said Hockeyroos coach Adam Commens.
Prior to Parker’s 53rd minute strike, Jodie Kenny came close during a series of third-quarter penalty corners, all of which were expertly denied by the acrobatic goalkeeping of Sakiyo Asano. Asano’s defensive colleagues did well to scramble clear the resulting danger.
With the game entering its final stages and the Japanese defense retreating deeper, it was the close skill of Emily Smith that created the opening in the circle for the Hockeyroos’ equalizer. Smith collided with Asano as the latter came to meet her and the ball broke to Parker, whose first time shot found the backboard.
ACT defender Eddie Bone made her 100th appearance for the Hockeyroos in the match. The 27 year-old made her senior international debut less than three years ago, against Korea in Perth in April 2013.
The Hockeyroos’ second Pool A fixture is against Korea at 11am AEST on Sunday. The Koreans went down to Canada in the opening match of the tournament.
Hawke’s Bay Cup – Pool A
Georgie Parker 53 (FG)
Mie Nakashima 13 (FG)
Results & Fixtures, today
Canada 2-1 Korea
Australia 1-1 Japan
New Zealand – India
China – Ireland
Standings, Hawke’s Bay Cup
1. Canada (3 points)
2. Australia (1 point)
3. Japan (1 point)
4. Korea (0 points)
Matches to follow.
Source: Australia Hockey