Defending champions Australia faced arch-rivals England in an important Pool B clash of the ongoing Hockey World Cup 2018 at Bhubaneswar's Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday. In a hard-fought battle, Australia prevailed over England by 3-0.
England had the lead in terms of ball possession in the first quarter. Nonetheless, they led by a whisker (51-49%) and were marginally ahead in pass accuracy and circle entries. It was a tight contest from the onset which denied any side a firm advantage.
Australia, eager for a lead, went for the kill but a quality save by English goalkeeper, George Pinner prevented them from scoring. Another riveting battle brewed in the second quarter. In stats, England still had the lead. However, there was no change in the scoreline.
The same script brewed for the penultimate quarter. England tightened their screws on Australia but it was of no use as they failed to score. They were again ahead in ball possession, circle entries, and penalty corners but paid the price for being behind in pass accuracy.
Australia was challenged so far. They seemed eager for a turnaround and it came quickly as the last quarter commenced. The first goal came from Jake Whetton. England had done all the hard work but failure to pounce on their conversions against a top side pushed them to the wall.
Once Australia took the lead, they piled pressure near England's post and caught their defenders' movement. As a result, Blake Govers inflicted more pain with a reverse stick shot and made the scoreline out of England's reach. Before the match wrapped up, Corey Weyer consolidated Aussies' goal difference with another goal.
Despite dominating in some areas, England went down 0-3 to their nemesis courtesy major flaws in the last quarters.
About the Author
Aditya Sahay, a former cricket reporter/writer and statistician, has shifted gears to other sports (primarily badminton, tennis, kabaddi, hockey, golf etc). While cricket remains his first love, he enjoys covering and writing on kabaddi, hockey and tennis. He dons Germanys jersey during FIFA and believes Dhoni Dhoni hai, isko (aur) mauka mila toh bahut aage jayega