For the first time in over a decade, the Kookaburras have fallen to an invigorated Argentinian side, losing 3-2 in Saturday night’s Champions Trophy match-up in Breda.
The result doesn’t change much for the Kookaburras who will still play in Monday morning’s Final against an unknown opponent but the side would have still been gunning for a win heading into the match.
Despite a spirited comeback led by Tim brand, Australia weren’t able to match Argentina on the scoreboard. Argentina were aggressive from the first hooter generating six penalty corners for the match and mounting the offensive pressure which ultimately saw Gonzalo Peillat steal the show with a hat-trick.
Australian Coach Colin Batch spoke on Argentina’s attack after the match.
“They were significant with their penalty corner attack, they’ve got a world-class flicker there and he found the back of the net three times. That’s a big part of their game, we know that, but we weren’t able to defend one of their key threats today.”
Batch spoke on Tim Brand who scored two goals in Saturday night’s clash.
“He’s a young player, he’s learning a lot and he’s doing well at this tournament so we’re pleased with his progress.”
Looking ahead to Monday morning’s Final against one of either India or the Netherlands, Batch says the focus for the Kookaburras will be recovery.
“We’ve got to make the most of the time available to us…we’ll watch the next game closely. We’ll take some learning out of our match and then adjust to who we’re playing accordingly.”
The Kookaburras finished the first quarter trailing Argentina who opened the scoring through Peillat when he nailed his first of three penalty corner goals in the 13thminute of the match.
Brand put through his first goal for the day almost immediately after the siren to start the second term. Brand was able to get on the end of a Flynn Ogilvie strike and deflect the ball into the net to level the score in the 16thminute. The celebrations didn’t last long because Peillat got his second just moments later when he nailed another penalty corner flick in the 20thminute.
Argentina’s goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi had to leave the pitch with a suspected knee injury with five minutes remaining in the quarter.
As the third term got underway things were heating up, tempers were flaring and the game kicked into another gear. This was exacerbated when in the 39thminute Matthew Swan copped a heavy knock to the shoulder by way of Juan Lopez who was subsequently carded for ten minutes.
The remaining minutes of the quarter were intense and even saw a ball fly into the crowd. The Argentinian defence was being pressed by the Australian’s but a five minute yellow card to Whetton on the three-quarter time siren released the pressure.
In the 51stminute, Argentina lined up for their seventh penalty corner for the match which netted Peillat his third goal for the game.
Just one minute later Brand answered with an impressive reverse shot off the back of a long aerial pass into the D. With the momentum on their side, Australia pulled Tyler Lovell and ran with an extra man in the field.
The extra man helped the Kookaburras find some more attacking opportunities and in the 60thminute Australia found themselves with back-to-back penalty corners. Jeremy Hayward had an opportunity to tie things up but his shot found the post and was successfully defended by Argentina, removing any chance of a miraculous comeback.
Australia will now turn their attention to Monday morning’s Final which is currently scheduled for 12am AEST live on Fox Sports.
Australia 2 (Brand 16’, 52’)
Argentina 3 (Peillat 23’, 21’, 51’)