Friday 23 November 2018 | Hockeyroos leader Jodie Kenny says the fact her side’s Champions Trophy finals fate won’t be decided until their final group game against Japan on Saturday may be a good thing.
Australia could have sealed a spot in Sunday’s final against the Netherlands with victory in Thursday’s clash with hosts China PR but it ended 0-0.
Despite the draw, the Hockeyroos remain in the box seat, sitting second in the standings, one point ahead of China with one game to play, leaving destiny in their own hands.
If Australia defeats Japan on Saturday, they’re assured of a spot in the final, while a draw or loss could actually be enough, if China loses their final group game against world number one Netherlands.
Kenny said the situation would ensure there’d be no potential let-up from the Hockeyroos.
“We were really pushing for the win tonight to reassure a spot in that final,” Kenny said.
“It’s probably not a bad thing. It means we’ve got to put everything out in that next game.
“We can’t relax and we need to keep producing good quality hockey.
“It’ll put us in good stead for the grand final should we make it.”
Kenny along with newcomer Rebecca Greiner both came closest to scoring in Thursday’s scoreless draw.
The Queensland defender, who is competing at her fourth Champions Trophy, added that she’d been impressed by the side’s three debutants during the tournament.
“Beck Greiner is doing really well,” Kenny said.
“Greta Hayes and all the newbies are finding their feet and their positions in the team.”
Meanwhile, Hockeyroo Karri McMahon said the side were searching for the final piece to the puzzle after failing to score in the past two games.
“We created the chances but their defence is always solid and we just couldn’t find a way through,” McMahon said.
“We are doing all the right things in defence and attack but the final bit hasn’t clicked yet – hopefully, it will all come together in our last two games.
“This is our last event of the year and we want to go out on a high.”
The Hockeyroos face Japan from 5pm AEDT on Saturday live on kayosports.com.au.
Hockeyroos 2018 Champions Trophy schedule (all times AEDT):
Saturday 17 November 7pm – Australia 2 Argentina 1
Sunday 18 November 5pm – Australia 2 Great Britain 0
Tuesday 20 November 5pm – Australia 0 Netherlands 3
Thursday 22 November 7pm – Australia 0 China 0
Saturday 24 November 5pm – Australia v Japan
Sunday 25 November – Finals