Pro League: Hockeyroos Full of Character in Comeback Over China

For the second time in the FIH Pro League series in Sydney the Hockeyroos have prevailed in a shootout over China.

The Hockeyroos showed enormous grit and character as they fought back from two goals down to make it 2-2 at full time and send the match into a shootout where goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram again came into her own to ensure the Australians remained undefeated after three matches.

Jiaqi Zhong and Bingfeng Gu gave China a deserved two goal lead before Jane Claxton’s 52nd minute strike and Brooke Peris’ equaliser with three minutes to go rounded out the comeback.

China went inches from winning it with five seconds to go, only a remarkable goal line clearance from defender Penny Squibb with her stick saving the Hockeyroos from defeat.

Steph Kershaw Australia - Pro League: Hockeyroos Full of Character in Comeback Over China - For the second time in the FIH Pro League series in Sydney the Hockeyroos have prevailed in a shootout over China.

Coming off a rest day and eager to reverse Friday’s shootout loss to the Hockeyroos, China started strongly, Bartram called into action to keep out two early penalty corners.

The Hockeyroos’ best chance of the opening exchanges fell to Steph Kershaw but the Chinese defence managed to clear the ball just in time.

Bartram was required again in the second quarter as China caused some Hockeyroos turnovers in threatening areas.

A defence splitting pass from Amy Lawton to Peris almost caught China napping but goalkeeper Ying Zhou did enough to spoil the chance to leave it at nil-all.

China continued to take the game up to the Hockeyroos and Jiaqi Zhong sent a shot that had Bartram beaten but the ball cannoned off the post.

Just as the Hockeyroos had breathed a sigh of relief, another opportunity fell to Zhong moments later and this time she made no mistake to put China in front.

The lead was then doubled when Bingfeng Gu struck from a penalty corner in the 48th minute to leave the Hockeyroos with the job in front of them.

The Hockeyroos’ cause was aided when Haoting Yang was shown a yellow card with nine minutes to go, and the hosts made the most of their numerical advantage.

Claxton fired home her 19th international goal to peg one back before Claire Colwill had a drag flick saved as the Hockeyroos surged forward.

The rescue mission was complete when Peris bundled the ball home from close range.

Squibb’s heroics on the goal line then prevented China from winning it at the death after a superb turn and shot from Ning Ma.

Courtney Schonell, Peris, Kaitlin Nobbs and Lawton were all successful in the shootout to see the Hockeyroos claim the bonus point.

“It shows that we believe in ourselves and we trust the process to be able to overturn a 2-goal deficit late in the game and then win in the shoot-out,” said Claxton, who was named Player of the Match.

“We have one more game to go at home and are looking forward to keeping our unbeaten run going.”

Every match of the FIH Pro League is broadcast on FOX Sports 507 and Kayo.

Match Details
Hockeyroos 2
 (Claxton 52’, Peris 57’)
China 2 (Jiaqi Zhong 37’, Bingfeng Gu 48’)
Hockeyroos win shootout 4-3
@ Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre

Hockeyroos: 1.Claire Colwill, 2.Rosie Malone, 3.Brooke Peris, 4.Amy Lawton, 5.Grace Young, 6.Penny Squibb, 10.Maddy Fitzpatrick, 13.Hattie Shand, 14.Stephanie Kershaw, 15.Kaitlin Nobbs (c), 16.Courtney Schonell, 18.Jane Claxton, 19.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 24.Mariah Williams, 29.Rebecca Greiner, 30.Grace Stewart, 42.Maddi Smith
Unused substitute: 41.Zoe Newman (gk)

Australia Hockey

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