Field Hockey Canada > CANgaroo Clash: Match 3 Recap

CANgaroo Clash: Match 3 Recap

October 5, 2011 | Field Hockey Canada |

Sunday, September 11


Australia A (3) vs. Canada (2)


The weather was perfect. The hockey was exciting. The crowd at Rutledge Field was pleased.

Team Canada was determined to grind-out a positive result, having lost the opening two games of the series. Superb support from the local field hockey community continued, as more than 500 people made the trip to Rutledge Field.

From the opening whistle, Canada pushed Australia’s defence in search of an early goal, through some excellent pressure from Phil Wright, Mark Pearson and Keegan Pereira. Despite being pushed back, the Australians started a more pointed attack following Canada’s early pressure, controlling the flow of play through intelligent play in deep defence and midfield areas. Canada struck first in the 6th minute, off a fantastic deflection option that sent the ball under the Australian crossbar off of Wright’s stick. Canada was carrying the momentum and was deserving of the early 1-0 lead.

Not to be outdone, Australia quickly rebounded. Crisp passing through the backs, the midfield opened up the wide channels of the Canadian defence, through which sustained pressure could be applied. The young Australian side was rewarded in the 21st minute through a well taken drag flick into the Canadian goal. Canada immediately regained composure, but were unable to capitalize against an Australian Team that tackled and thwarted several creative circle-entry attempts. The capacity crowd cheered as both teams opened-up their play late in the second half, with several long runs by forwards on both sides. Australia was awarded a late penalty corner in the 35th minute and capitalized using their trademark “double-battery” formation. The score line at halftime was 2-1 in favour of Australia, who were deserving of the advantage going into the break.

The second half was the most entertaining hockey of the CANgaroo Clash. The crowd cheered both teams on, as both teams lay caution to the wind, and attacked with flair, passion, and purpose. Wright added his second tally of the day within the first minute, levelling the score to 2-2. For the next 30 minutes, both teams traded barbs, with the goalies on both ends being stretched to keep their teams in the game. Both the Australian and Canadian midfield put on a stellar performance, with a standout showing for veteran Kenny Pereira, who managed to create dangerous passing lanes deep into the Australian defence. In the 65th minute, the Australians made their final intentions known, and slammed home a corner-option from the left battery that fooled the Canadian defence.

The game ended in a 3-2 win for Australia, and was a very hard-fought and end-to-end affair for everyone who was there to enjoy it. Australia wins the CANgaroo Clash, taking a 3-0 series lead into the final 2 games.

An exciting penalty shootout following the match was highly entertaining for the partisan West Vancouver crowd, who watched a wide variety of different tactics used against the Canadian and Australian goalies. Australia’s last shooter took a full baseball-swing shot from the top of the D, sending the ball like a missile high into the Canadian goal, right under the crossbar. The delighted crowd left Rutledge Field extremely satisfied!

Team Canada is looking to come out strong in match #4 on Tuesday at 7:00pm. 


DNP: R. Hildreth, A. Kindler, R. Short


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