HWC2018: Australia to face World No.3 Argentina in quarters
Photo Credits : Hockey Australia

The Hockeyroos will face Argentina in the 2018 Women’s World Cup quarter-finals on Thursday morning (AEST) after Las Leonas defeated New Zealand 2-0 in the playoffs overnight.

Australia had already progressed to the last eight after topping Pool D, avoiding the sudden death playoffs after a 1-1 draw with New Zealand on Sunday morning (AEST).

Argentina are currently third on the FIH Hero World Rankings and finished second in Pool B behind Germany, with a win, a draw and a loss across their three matches.

Australia and Argentina last met at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with the Hockeyroos triumphing 1-0 thanks to Emily Smith’s 33rd minute goal.

The Hockeyroos finished topped their pool with one win and two draws from their three matches.

Australia coach Paul Gaudoin said they’d need to improve on their pool performances if they were to reach the semi-finals.

“We’ve got to be better than that if we’re going to go deep into this tournament,” Gaudoin said.

“We’ve got to be a bit smarter to keep the ball in those late stages.

“There’s lots to learn and it was obviously a pressured game against New Zealand so we’re looking forward to the next chapter.”

Gaudoin said there were positives to take from the Black Sticks draw, particularly his side’s press which kept FIH Player of the Year nominee and New Zealand captain Stacey Michelsen’s influence to a minimum.

Argentina possess plenty of top-class players too, including reigning FIH Player of the Year winner Delfina Merino, who was best afield against New Zealand, and 2017 FIH Rising Star winner Maria Jose Granatto.

“I thought it was an interesting game,” Gaudoin said, about Australia’s 1-1 draw with New Zealand. “We pressed pretty well and took care of their key players.

“Michelsen is a quality player who we kept reasonably quiet, although she got off the leash a couple of times.”

The winner of the Australia-Argentina quarter-final will play either the Netherlands (ranked 1st), England (ranked 2nd) or South Korea (ranked 9th) in the semi-finals.

Australia’s Women’s Hockey World Cup Schedule (all times AEST):
Sunday 22 July 5am – Australia 3 def Japan 2
Tuesday 24 July 11pm – Australia 0 drew with Belgium 0
Sunday 29 July 5am – Australia 1 drew with New Zealand 1
Thursday 2 August 5:15am – Australia v Argentina
Saturday 4 August TBC – Semi-finals
Sunday/Monday 5/6 August 11pm/1:30am – Bronze medal/Gold medal match

Australia’s Women’s Hockey World Cup team:
Athlete (Hometown, State)
Jocelyn Bartram (Albury, NSW)
Kristina Bates (Port Melbourne, VIC)
Edwina Bone (Orange, NSW) *Plays for ACT
Kalindi Commerford (Mollymook, NSW) *Plays for ACT
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Emily Hurtz (Sydney, NSW) *Plays for VIC
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD)
Stephanie Kershaw (Townsville, QLD)
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC)
Ambrosia Malone (Burleigh, QLD)
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA)
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW)
Kaitlin Nobbs (Newington, NSW)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA)
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW)
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW)
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)

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