Kobie stars in drawn match

COLLIE’S Kobie McGurk hit her straps in Australia’s final Olympic pool match, a tense nil-all draw against world number two, Argentina.

Kobie, Teneal Attard and Kate Jenner were named as the Hockeyroos’ best players.

But the whole team effort was not quite enough. Australia needed to beat Argentina to progress to the semi-finals and play off for a medal.

Argentina required only a draw to progress and played accordingly, holding Australia scoreless for the 70 minutes.

The first half was dominated by the Hockeyroos, who attacked the Argentina goal on a number of occasions.

Georgia Nanscawen, Megan Rivers and Emily Smith were hard work for the Argentina defence.

The dynamic Australian defence — Kobie McGurk, Jodie Schulz, Kate Jenner and Toni Cronk — held firm throughout the match and intercepted any circle penetrations forced by Argentina.

A well-earned half time break gave Australia time to review ways of breaking down the Argentina defensive press.

The second half turned into an all-out attack from both teams as pressure mounted for a result.

Most of the play was in the midfield And Teneal Attard and Kate Jenner who controlled this section of the pitch for the Australians.

Their tackling and disposal was world class (,as it has been throughout the Olympics) and restricted the Argentinian strikers’ impact.

The final 10 minutes saw both teams penetrate their opposing circle, with opportunities going begging.

The Australians’ effort in the final minutes couldn’t crack Argentina’s tight defence.

Australia finished its pool matches with an outstanding record of three wins, one draw and one loss. three, Germany, the USA and South Africa instil confidence in the group leading into the fifth versus sixth play-off match on Friday.

Australia, Argentina and New Zealand finished equal on top of Pool B with 10 points each. As a result, goal difference is used to determine which team qualifies through.

With Argentina on an eight-goal difference, New Zealand on four and Australia on three, Australia was extremely unlucky to fifth versus sixth play-off.

China has had an up-and-down tournament with wins against Great Britain and Korea, but losses to Japan and Netherlands.

Australia will be hoping to secure a fifth place finish, two places ahead of their world ranking. The Australian women also claimed fifth at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Next match: fifth versus sixth play-off – 10.30pm WST Friday, August 10.

It will be televised live on Foxtel from 10.20pm WST on Channel 187.

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