Hockey World Cup 2018: 3 reasons why Australia won against England
Defending champions Australia laid down the gauntlet with a majestic 3-0 victory against England in their Pool B clash at the 2018 Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar.
As one would expect, Australia launched into aggression mode right at the start of the match. However, the pendulum swung wildly in the first quarter itself and England began to make dangerous inroads into the circle.
It was a game of cat-and-mouse in the second quarter as both teams remained wary of each other's attacking prowess. Neither side could convert their penalty corner into a goal and the score read 0-0 at half-time.
The display of staunch defence extended into the third quarter as well. But Australia started to pick up their intensity by controlling possession. There was a shift in momentum although the scoreline still remained goalless.
Australia's persistent pressure paid off in the final quarter. In the 47th minute, Jake Whetton fired them ahead by capitalizing on a brilliant pass. Three minutes later, Blake Govers consolidated their advantage with a stunning reverse strike from inches inside the circle. Corey Weyer's 56th minute field goal was the cherry on top for the Kookaburras.
Here are three reasons why Australia triumphed 3-0 against England.
#3 Unruffled Tyler Lovell keeps England at bay
A quick glance at the scoreline may not reveal the impressive manner in which England played in the first two quarters. Riding on Barry Middleton's creative instincts, they created numerous chances and had quite a few shots on target. However, one man's genius prevented them from taking an early lead.
Among the best goal-keepers in the current circuit, Tyler Lovell gave another demonstration of his incredible awareness under the bar. He got into the groove with a sterling save against a strike from close range. Luck was on the Australian's side as well. On another day, Phil Roper's shot could have smashed into the goal instead of ricocheting off the post.
Lovell's reflexes came to the fore when England threatened from a penalty corner. Mark Gleghorne's drag-flick came hurling at rapid pace. But the 31-year old goalkeeper instinctively protruded his stick from short angle and stopped the shot. That Australia went into half-time without any damage emanated largely from Lovell's experience.