The Hockeyroos have secured a place in the 2019 FIH Pro League Final in Amsterdam later this month after a 3-1 victory over Germany in Krefeld on Sunday.
Australia could not have gotten off to a better start, with Jane Claxton scoring twice in the opening three minutes of the match, played in the opponents’ home country of Germany.
Her first was the result of a crash ball in that collected a touch from a German defender and landed in her path for a regulation trap and back foot shot to the opposite corner of the goal.
Less than a minute later, she scored her second from a diving effort to tap the ball in after a long-range aerial ball from midfield caught the hosts off guard.
After the chaotic opening minutes, the hosts settled into the game and started to generate attacks, however an innocuous knee injury to Germany’s Charlotte Stapenhorst brought the match to a halt in the 12th minute.
Australia scored their third goal in the 21st minute after a goalmouth scramble – Emily Chalker looked to have scored, however Germany reviewed believing there was body contact with the ball.
After a lengthy review, the goal stood and Germany were allowed to keep their referral as there was no advice possible from upstairs.
Half time came with Australia holding a comfortable 3-0 lead, and confidence running high.
However, Germany came out of the break with renewed fight – and a green card to Savannah Fitzpatrick gave the hosts the opening they needed.
Hannah Gablac made the most of the numerical advantage and scored immediately to get her team back in the contest.
Australia forced several penalty corners in the third quarter, however they were not able to effectively finish their chances, and went into the final quarter with a two-goal advantage.
The final term started with a brilliant double stop from Jocelyn Bartram, getting down low to stop the initial shot and then following up to deny a possible goal off the rebound.
Germany pushed for a second goal to try and set up a nervous finish for the Australians, but their slow start proved to be costly as the Hockeyroos finished 3-1 winners.
The Hockeyroos’ next match is on Wednesday against Belgium in Antwerp.
Australia 3 (Claxton 2’, Claxton 3’, Chalker 21’)
Germany 1 (Gablac 32’)