Bhubaneshwar: The Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 is off to a blistering start with two exciting matches in Pool A at the Kalinga Stadium.
In the opener, Argentina wheezed past South Africa by a bare minimum. The Los Leonas defeated the World No. 14 by 1-0. The Australia-France game followed the Argentina-South Africa match where the three-time champions humiliated the French. The tournament favorites Australia beat France by a whopping 8 goals
Maico Casella’s 42nd-minute goal puts Los Leonas one step up ahead of the South Africans
Bhubaneswar: Argentina fought tooth and nail as the South Africans mesmerized with challenging attacks and stout defense.
The South Africans attempted early goals, and the forward sprinted throughout the first quarter. The South Africans exuberated stout defense in their nature of play too. A good mix of a nice game of hockey when you are on the weaker side. However, they failed to convert the chances handed to them. With a good pat from Mario Ronchioni, former goalkeeper and head coach, Los Leonas sprang up into the action. They received three penalty corners in the second quarter in succession which was effectively defended by the opposition.
After a cheerful but gaolless 30 minutes of play, Malco Casella diverted Lucas Toscani’s pass past Johannes Gowen, boosting up the Argentine joie de vivre. The 25-year-old hailing from the capital city capitalized on a counter-attack and played in for the wonderful field goal.
The South Africans played strongly in the fourth quarter but alas the South Americans defended extremely well. In the end, the Argentines blazed in the first victory of the tournament.
An absolute thriller of a match as the Aussies dunk the French with eight blinders
Bhubaneshwar: Nothing short of a classic. The Australians proved why they are being touted as the tournament favorites by surmounting eight goals and a clean sheet.
The 2014 champs got the ball rolling in the ninth minute when Tom Craig put the Aussies ahead. The French seemed to tame the Aussies a bit in the first quarter as they defended a good two penalty corners. They almost equaled the Aussies at one point with some near misses in the back-to-back penalty corners.
Australia jumped from 1-0 to 3-0 in just ninety seconds. Flynn Ogilvie converted a field goal past France’s and Jeremy Hayward converted a penalty corner in the 27th minute. As the hallway mark inched closer, Jeremy Hayward finished off yet another penalty corner into the nets, thus maximizing the game to their advantage.
Tom Craig pulls off another goal in the 33rd minute to go five up. Six minutes later, Jeremy Hayward completes the first-ever hat trick of the Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023.
Meanwhile, France and its fans were bamboozled for a few minutes as they thought that the shame of no goal is avoided for a few minutes. However, much to their dismay, the on-field called off the goal after a video referral. With few seconds left to close the third quarter, Tom Craig carved the second hat trick of the tournament.
The Australians ended their riot when Tom Wickham scored in the 54th minute via a field goal. Fire!
The Australians play with Argentina on the 16th while France plays South Africa on the same day. Is Australia on its way to an unbeaten World Cup victory? Also, Can Los Leonas pull off an upset against the World No 1? Can France wash off the stains of today against the South Africans? Will the South Africans’ effort bear fruit on Sunday? Questions plethora, Answer to be seen. Also Read: Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup 2023: Pools, Teams, Venues, Live Streams, And Everything You Need To Know
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