Australia, France sprint into quarters
- CBI sought part RTI exemption, Govt gave it full
- Screen Awards: Milkha, Ram-Leela and Madras Cafe dominate
- DGCA seeks fresh public objections after clearing AirAsia for take-off
- Delhi: 51-year-old Danish national alleges gangrape, 15 detained for questioning
- I wonder if I will be able to ever reunite with my husband, my kids. I miss them: Devyani
A 2-0 scoreline may seem a fairly comprehensive margin of victory, but Australia coach Pete Gaudoin had a firm frown on his face after his side had beaten Spain in a Group B league match to make the quarters of the the Junior hockey World Cup. "We have a lot of work to do. We weren't connecting with our passes and we weren't converting our opportunities," said Gaudoin.
While double Olympic medalist Gaudoin is clearly a hard taskmaster he would probably back up his review of the game on the Burras' performance in the first half. While they enjoyed the bulk of possession and had the Spaniards constantly on the defensive, their midfield struggled to pass consistently. Australia managed to earn a string of penalty corners, but there was no reward.
Unlike in their previous game against Argentina there would be no early goal to calm nerves and with with a 0-0 score going into halftime Australia were worried. Defender Robert Bell admitted as much. "Because we play a very attacking game, early goals are crucial. If we don't get them, we tend to panic a bit," he said.
Luckily for Bell's side, they needed just three minutes after the resumption of the game to take the lead. It was captain Daniel Beale who slotted home successfully on his second attempt after a goalmouth scramble. Spain had a chance to strike back almost immediately when they earned a penalty corner, initially awarded as a penalty stroke, but Andrew Batturini padded the shot away to safety.
With seven minutes of play remaining, Australia got the cushion they wanted through Dylan Wotherspoon who spotted a gap in the circle, then sprinted past his marker and complete a clinical finish. The result was Spain's second consecutive defeat of the tournament. For a chance to advance they needed France to lose to Argentina. France though squeezed through 3-2 to make their first ever Junior World Cup quarters.