The Kookaburras’ opening match at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on Saturday saw Trent Mitton use all the tricks in the book to help Australia defeat South Africa 4-0.
Australia now holds a strong position in Pool A whereas South Africa falls to the bottom of the table after suffering losses to both the Kookaburras and Scotland.
The Kookaburras mounted a pressure-filled attack throughout the entire match and it was Trent Mitton (29’, 38’), Jeremy Hayward (42’) and Aaron Kleinschmidt (49’) who took advantage on the scoreboard.
The Kookaburras created an incredible eight penalty corners in the third quarter alone and held possession for the majority of the second half. If the team can maintain this attacking game plan they will be well placed for Sunday’s game against Scotland.
Mitton was dominant for Australia after quarter-time and opened the scoring with a miraculous ‘through-the-legs’ goal mere seconds before halftime. Mitton followed up and scored his second goal in the third quarter with a well time shot past South African goalkeeper Gowan Jones. Mitton wasn’t done there, he delivered the perfect assist to Kleinschmidt who was able to push the ball into the back of the net.
Jeremy Hayward joined in on the action late in the game with a powerful flick from a penalty corner.
Despite a shaky start to the match, Matthew Dawson showed his value to the team with a number of vital defensive stops and link-up plays throughout the game.
Captain Mark Knowles was once again a stalwart deep in defence, barking orders and ensuring that the relatively young team remained composed as the game progressed.
Despite allowing a number of goals, South African goalkeeper Gowan Jones was among their best. Under immense pressure throughout the match, Jones stood up and defended six penalty corners in the third term alone.
Australia will now go into Sunday’s match against Scotland with a feeling of confidence but victory is not a guarantee by any stretch of the imagination. Scotland have proved that they can score already, defeating South Africa 4-2 on Friday night.
The Kookaburras are next in action on Sunday against Scotland from 9:30pm AEST live on Channel 7 and the 7 App.
Australia 4 (Mitton 29’, 38’) (Hayward 42’) (Kleinschmidt 49’)