Sunday, January 18, 2009

Australia gold, Malaysia blow bronze

AUSTRALIA have risen to the occasion in another extra-time hockey thriller at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.
But Malaysia lost 5-2 to Great Britain in the bronze play-off, after showing some promise in the pool matches.
With a capacity crowd in the main grandstand, it was a perfect afternoon free of the heat, rain and thunder that plagued the earlier days of hockey competition.
They made their mark early in the gold medal match with Kieren Govers scoring in the third minute to put pressure on the Indian gold medal favourites.

India was unsuccessful in several penalty corners awarded in the first 20 minutes, and the Australian attack kept them moving around.
The Aussies forced an error in the 29th minute and were awarded a penalty corner, but a desperate save from India’s goal keeper Mrinal Chaubey kept them from scoring.
The young Australian men had the height advantage, but the speed of the Indian players was a challenge throughout the first half.
There was a close call for Australia in the 43rd minute, but some excellent defence, and a bit of luck kept India at bay.
Govers was a force in the Australian forward line, showing exceptional ball control and speed with several intercepts to break Indian defence but Indian Pramod Kumar evened the score in the 55th minute.
With a score of 1-1 at full time, the game went into two periods of extra time and it was Jason Donohoe of Australia who became a national hero in the 76th minute with a goal that thrilled the crowd.
“I’m really proud to be an Australian at the moment,” Josh White, captain of the side said. “More so to be with this group of guys.”

Extra Time AUS 2 – 1 IND
Full time score: AUS 1 – 1 IND
Half time score: AUS 1 – 0 IND

AUS 2, Govers 3”, Donohoe 76”
IND 1, Kumar 55”.

Georgia Gilson