Hockey World Cup 2018 - Australia vs China: 5 talking points
The Hockey World Cup 2018 has been a nail-biting affair so far. Currently being hosted at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, except for the matches between India and South Africa, and Netherlands vs. Malaysia, there haven't been any one-sided affairs.
While teams like Canada and Pakistan have sustained themselves, despite the continuous assaults from all sides, teams like France and China have given literal nightmares to even stalwarts like England and Argentina.
In this scenario, China, who had surprised England and Ireland with gutsy draws, looked all set to face Australia. While Australia had almost booked their berth for the quarter-finals, China looked forward to a major upset by defeating the defending champions in their penultimate league match.
They were not too optimistic in their thinking, given that France, who had made it to the World Cup after 28 years, shocked Olympic champions Argentina by 5-3, making a comfortable progress into the crossover round.
However, the Kookaburras had other plans for the Chinese team. They not only burst the bubble that China got with their back-to-back draws, but also mauled the Chinese challenge with an iron fist.
From goalkeepers Andrew Charter and Tyler Lovell, who denied China even a single chance to strike back, to penalty corner specialists Blake Govers and Jeremy Hayward, who feasted on every single opportunity, every Australian player had a field day against China, scoring goals at whim and denying even a single chance to the Chinese to strike back.
Even though the match was a one-sided affair, the classic Australian hockey sent a strong message to other opponents: they're no pushovers at all, and they're here for a 3rd consecutive title. Following are some of the interesting points about the match between Australia and China, which ended 11-0 in Australia's favour:-
#5 Australia on attack from the first whistle itself
Australia went into attack mode from the word 'Go.' Contrary to the expectations, the Kookaburras dominated throughout the game. Giving no respite to the Chinese players, Australian players broke into their defence more than once, accounting for more than 40 circle entries, of which Australia shot on the goal 20 times, succeeding in 11 instances, which speaks volumes in itself.
From the time Blake Govers opened the account for Team Australia in the 10th minute, with a brilliant conversion on the penalty corner, the writing was on the wall. Interestingly, the attacking prowess of Australia was so brilliant that throughout the match, they earned a whopping six penalty corners, and converted four of them, which proves why Australia are the undisputed masters of the penalty corners. It was due to this attacking prowess that Australia earned 6 of their 11 goals in the first half itself.