Hockeyroos hang on to clinch test series win
17 November 2017
HOCKEY: The Hockeyroos have hung on to claim an unassailable lead in their three-match Test series with a 2-1 victory over Japan at Adelaide’s State Hockey Centre on Thursday night.
Madi Ratcliffe and Kathryn Slattery scored first-half goals, before Japan pressed hard in the second half with Shiho Tsujii pulling one back as they put Australia under intense pressure.
Australia did well to hang on for victory ahead of Saturday’s final Test against Japan from 2pm (local time) in Adelaide, having won the opener on Wednesday 5-1.
Slattery, who missed last week’s International Festival of Hockey, said there were plenty of positives.
“Really happy to get the win,” Slattery said. “That ties off the series for us, so that’s a really positive thing.
“Coming off the game in Melbourne, that was obviously a disappointing loss, so to clock up these two wins has been really important for the group moving forward.
“There’s definitely positives to take out of the game. To get that early scoreboard pressure, I think that’s really important.”
Ratcliffe opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a powerful tomahawk high into the net.
Japan responded with a series of penalty corners where Hockeyroos goalkeeper Ash Wells did well to keep them at bay with Misa Fujii and Hazuki Nagai both coming close.
Second-game goalkeeper Aleisha Power made some good saves in the second quarter, before Slattery doubled Australia’s advantange with an angled shot through Megumi Kageyama’s legs.
Japan replied in the 37th minute when Minami Shimizu stole the ball and set up Tsujii to shoot beyond Wells.
The visitors dominated the final quarter, with Power making a good double save from Shoko Kanefuji as Australia hung on to claim the series win.
Australia 2 (Ratcliffe 5’, Slattery 25’) def Japan 1 (Tsujii 37’)