Hockey World Cup 2018, Australia vs Ireland: 3 standout players from the match
- Who impressed the most in the Australia vs Ireland clash at the Hockey World Cup 2018 on Friday? Here are 3 standout players from this clash
With each passing day, the Hockey World Cup 2018, being held at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, is turning out to be better and better. Except for the drubbing that South Africa received at the hands of India, there has practically been no match that was a one-sided affair.
Even if the teams lost against their powerful rivals, they did make them sweat hard for victory. From Spain to Canada, to even France, none of them let their opponents have it easy in any circumstance. Even a team as powerful as the Olympic champion Argentina were forced to sweat it out against Spain, and had it not been for Gonzalo Peillat, they could've been defeated as well, which is certainly not a good way to start the World Cup campaign.
One such match was played today, when defending champions Australia met the Irish team for their opening match of Pool B. Australia, who are ranked at the top in FIH Men's Rankings, was expected to have a breeze in the match against Ireland, who are ranked 10th. However, the Irish boys had other plans.
Despite Blake Govers's smashing drag flick that gave Australia a crucial lead, Ireland did not give up and struck back within minutes, with Shane O Donoghue equalizing the score. Had it not been for a field goal from Tim Brand, Australia were set for a surprise draw. Even a humiliating defeat was on the cards.
Despite having lost the match, Ireland were the better team on the turf, giving Australia a literal nightmare. From the Irish strikers to the brilliant goalkeeper-cum-captain of the team, David Harte, Ireland were literally a force to reckon with. This also serves as a bitter medicine for Australia, who need to buck up if they want to set a hat-trick of World Cup titles
The list for the stars of this match wasn't tough to determine, and following are the players who stood out from the rest in the encounter between Australia vs. Ireland:-
#3) Blake Govers
Blake Govers is Australia's best bet for drag flick after Chris Ciriello. This young drag flicker was one of the few Australian players who kept their cool in such a nightmarish situation like the current match against Ireland. Considered among one of the best drag flickers as of now, Blake Govers didn't disappoint anyone either.
Striking upon the very first chance he received in the 11th minute, Blake Govers converted the penalty corner into a brilliant goal, earning Australia not only a crucial lead but also the requisite momentum to keep going, despite the equalizer by Ireland coming within minutes.
Among all the Australian players, with the exception of Tyler Lovell, it was only Govers who lived up to his reputation and added a goal to Australia's kitty. This match will also increase his responsibilities, as he now also needs to come to the rescue of the Kookaburras when a tense situation like the one with Ireland arises.