Hockeyroos records their FOURTH win in a row in a confident win against New Zealand – as they prepare to fight for Olympic gold
The Hockeyroos have made their best start to an Olympics, with a 1-0 win over New Zealand to make it four straight wins in Tokyo.
The three-time Olympic champions entered the Games under pressure, with a new coach and their culture in question after claims of body shaming and bullying led to an outside review.
But they have reached the top of their group after four games with an 11-1 differential, with two-time Olympic champion Katrina Powell now looking for a new medal as coach.
The Hockeyroos had 15 circle penetrations to New Zealand’s five, with Emily Chalker’s neat deflection from a tight angle making the difference in another thrilling clash between the trans-Tasman rivals.
Stephanie Kershaw of Australia (pictured left) and Ella Gunson of New Zealand compete for possession in their pool B hockey clash at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday
Emily Chalker (photo with headband) from Australia celebrates with teammates after scoring what turned out to be the winner in a 1-0 win over New Zealand at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday
Edwina Bone (pictured left) hits the ball out of the air against New Zealand in their Pool B clash at the Tokyo Olympics – the 1-0 win was Australia’s fourth consecutive win and their best ever start to a Games
On the hunt for the equaliser, New Zealand defeated their Australian-born goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon, who had previously denied Stephanie Kershaw with a sharp save from close range, with four minutes remaining and played with 11 outfielders.
But the Hockeyroos kept their nerves in check just a day after beating Japan by the same score.
They showed they had more gears in 6-0 and 3-1 defeats to China and Spain respectively to start their tournament.
The Hockeyroos’ final group game is against Argentina on Saturday, and more importantly, Australia is poised to top their pool and avoid heavyweights, Germany and the Netherlands, in a knockout quarter-final.
The Netherlands have won their four matches with a combined score of 15-1 in Japan in a tough group with Rio gold medalists Great Britain and impressive Ireland, who are on track to finish fourth.