TEST 3 OF 3
HOCKEYROOS 1 (0)
Ashleigh Nelson 56 (F)
ARGENTINA 3 (2)
Agustina Albertarrio 27, 66 (F, F)
Ana Rodriguez 34 (F)
Despite an Ashleigh Nelson goal that threatened a second half comeback, Australia’s Hockeyroos went down 3-1 to Argentina in the third and final Test in Perth on Tuesday evening. In a match that celebrated the 350th international appearance of seven times World Player of the Year Luciana Aymar, it was her young teammate 20 year old Agustina Albertarrio whose two goals proved critical to securing the series win.
Albertarrio’s first, in the 27th minute, was a stunning strike that gave Rachael Lynch in the Australian goal little chance. And a scrambled goal 22 seconds before half time from Ana Rodriguez put the Hockeyroos on the back foot going into the break 2-0 down.
But the hosts responded in the second half, enjoying better possession and halving the deficit through Ashleigh Nelson’s goal, swept home from close range with just under quarter of an hour remaining.
The goal boosted Australian hopes but just as it looked as if the Hockeyroos might grab a memorable equaliser Argentina counter attacked. Racing with pace towards the Australian goal, Albertarrio was on hand to convert a pulled-back pass from the left baseline to put the result beyond doubt at 3-1.
Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens summed up the series and the match afterwards, saying, “We made good progress from game one to two but this evening we were a metre off on all of our contesting and just a little bit late. I thought that Argentina were sharper again; they really handled the ball beautifully tonight and showed why they’re one of the top teams in the world. I felt in the second half it was more of an even contest without us really threatening the goal too much. We got ourselves into a situation where we could get a result and it was disappointing that we let them out of the back pocket to concede a goal.
“All in all we gained a lot out of the series. We learned plenty about our players and which players are capable of mixing it with top teams. I think it tells us a lot moving towards Oceania Cup and World League selection and ultimately our World Cup squad.”
Both sides now turn their attention to Thursday and the start of the International Super Series, which also includes Malaysia and Canada, plus the men’s teams of Australia, Argentina, Pakistan and Malaysia.
Looking ahead to the innovative 9-a-side competition, Commens said, “The Hockey 9s is going to be a really exciting challenge for this group. To be able to utilise the full width and depth of the field is something all hockey teams strive to do, whether in the 11-a-side or 9-a-side format of the game, and it’s further accentuated in the Super Series format. We’re looking forward to playing such varied international opponents and trying to defend our Super Series crown.”
Acknowledging the contribution of Luciana Aymar, he added, “She’s a wonderful player and someone that can be an inspiration to all hockey players, men and women alike. In her 350th match at 36 years of age she showed she’s still got a few years left in her legs. She was marvellous tonight; she made it very difficult for our team. It was one of the better performances I’ve seen from her.”
Tickets for the International Super Series are on sale starting at just $10 for concessions and $20 for adults. Visit www.hockey9s.hockey.org.au or Ticketmaster to buy.
The tournament will also be shown on ABC 1 and iview in Australia and the Australia Network in the Asia Pacific region.
Hockeyroos squad for Argentina test series
12-15 October 2013, Perth, WA
Alphabetical by surname
Athlete (Hometown) Caps/Goals
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 12/0
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 258/61
Jade Close (Wagga Wagga, NSW) 75/12
Casey Eastham (Albion Park, NSW) 175/41
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 96/15
Kirstin Johnson (Mackay, QLD) 20/2
Rachael Lynch (GK) (Melbourne, VIC) 88/0
Kobie McGurk (Collie, WA) 188/8
Claire Messent (Melbourne, VIC) 64/16
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 5/0
Jodie Schulz (Wamuran, QLD) 79/37
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 13/0
Bianca Joyce (Balaklava, SA) 36/1
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 120/47
Georgie Parker (Adelaide, SA) 38/3
Rebecca Reuter (Brisbane, QLD) 3/0
Jayde Taylor (Bunbury, WA) 76/1
Did Not Play
Elizabeth Duguid (GK) (Darwin, NT) 1/0
Audrey Smith (GK) (Wynnum, QLD) 0/0