Australia vs. Spain
Match 35/Bronze Medal Match
2.00 Push Back
Both teams are looking to pick themselves up today, after their losses on penalty shuffles in their respective Semi-Finals yesterday. Some say that, it is more enjoyable winning a bronze medal then getting the silver due to having won a game then having lost one. Jodie Kenny is down on the team sheet to start the match, even though she dislocated her shoulder in the quarter final shootout against Argentina and she wasn’t drag flicking much in the match against Holland.
Spain come out intent on getting that bronze medal, running with pace and intensity. In the eleventh minute Alicia Magaz plays the ball right to Berta Bonastre. She spins and finds a foot in the Australian circle, for the first short corner of the game. Maria Lopez slaps it to the right hand post, It’s sent across the face of the Aussie goal and Lopez pops up again to score giving her team a one nil lead.
Australia are starting to edge further forward, retaining possession a bit better. But with a little over a minute remaining Spain attack towards the right hand baseline and the cut back for Berta Bonastre to slot home. It’s now two goals to nil for the Red Sticks and they are looking the better team. The ladies in yellow and green have their work cut out for the now.
At the start of the second period Australia come out with a bit more passion and drive, which was missing from their performance in the first quarter. There is something missing from both teams as they attack, the quality of the final pass, the first touch around the edge of the circle is perhaps not quite there. Attacks are breaking down just before something interesting happens.
Spain, perhaps, are moving off the ball a bit better up front. The forwards are dropping deep to play one touch combinations with attacking midfielders in order to try and find spaces behind the Australian defence. It’s not quite worked out as much as they would have wanted, but t’s good to watch. With a little over two minutes left of the half the Aussies get their first short corner of the game. Jodie Kenny looks to drag flick, but is shut down by the first runner. At half time the score remains Australia 0 – 2 Spain.
In the second minute of the second half Edwina Bone receives a green card. Six minutes later we see a crashed ball into the Aussie circle and a ball up off the keeper Rachael Lynch. It comes off of her high and it’s a short corner for Spain. It’s blocked but Australia have to do well to win the ball back and move it out of their 23 metre area. As the Australians counter attack Lucia Jimenez commits a foul and is
shown a green card. In the tenth minute the Hockeyroos work a sideline ball towards the top of the circle, then play the ball forward and Kathryn Slattery tips the ball over an on rushing Maria Ruiz from the Spanish goal; Australia 1 – 2 Spain.
We’re into the fourth quarter and after two minutes the Spanish find
an Australian foot inside the circle and get another short corner. It’s moved to the right and sent towards the back post, but Australia get a free hit out. Spain want something that they haven’t been given and refer for another set-piece. The video umpire decides that there was danger for the Aussie defender and Spain lose their referral. In the sixth minute, an attack down the right by Beatriz Perez sees a circle entry. She centres for Alicia Magaz who adds to her team’s tally; three goals to one for the Spanish.
In the eighth minute there is yet another short corner awarded for Spain. They are enjoying the attacks down their right hand side, but see their shot blocked by Maddy Fitzpatrick, who’s now limping. With six minutes and forty-three seconds remaining Australia dispense with their goalkeeper for a kicking back. Carola Salvatella is shown a green card with a little over four minutes of the match to play.
As time ticks away Brooke Peris gets an outcome for Australia in the circle and wins her team a short corner. If this goes in, it could make the remaining part of the game interesting. Alicia Magaz breaks too early and is sent to the half way line. The Australians can’t take advantage of this though and Spain win a free hit out. At full time the score is Australia 1 – 3 Spain. This group of Spanish players are now the most successful team in their world cup history, beating their previous rating of fourth in the 2010 Madrid version of the competition.