The surging Hockeyroos have used goals from Penny Squibb and Rosie Malone to power into the quarter-finals of the women’s world cup.
The Hockeyroos are through to the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIH Women’s World Cup after accounting for South Africa 2-1 in their final pool match in Terrassa.
First half goals from Penny Squibb and Rosie Malone sealed the Hockeyroos’ third win from as many matches in what was Mariah Williams’ 100th international appearance.
The result ensured the Hockeyroos finished top of Pool D, meaning they will have a well deserved break before launching into the business end of the tournament.
Needing a win or a draw to automatically progress to the last eight, the Hockeyroos made a great start, taking the lead in the 8th minute.
After Hockeyroos goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram had kept out an early penalty corner at one end, Squibb capitalised on Australia’s first penalty corner at the other as South Africa goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande was unable to keep the defender’s drag flick from finding the back of the net.
South Africa’s reply was swift and just as impressive when Lilian du Plessis sent a powerful drag flick past Bartram five minutes later to level the scores. It was the first goal the Hockeyroos had conceded in the tournament.
Rebecca Greiner, who was one of the game’s standouts, and Malone squandered a golden chance to put the Hockeyroos ahead in the 23rd minute.
However, the miss would not prove costly as Malone bobbed up a minute later to score her second goal of the tournament.
The goal came after Mbande managed to pad off Maddy Fitzpatrick’s well directed drag flick, the ball spilling to Malone who had time to pick her spot and fire it home.
Early in the third quarter the Hockeyroos had the chance to extend their advantage after they were awarded a penalty stroke when livewire 18 year old forward Hannah Cullum-Sanders was impeded in the attacking circle.
Looking to cap off her milestone with a goal, Williams could not convert the resultant attempt as she sent her stroke low and wide of the target.
There were some nervy moments for the Hockeyroos in the final quarter as South Africa pressed for an equaliser, captain Bernadette Coston going inches away from levelling it up with the open goal beckoning.
Again showing steely defensive resolve, the Hockeyroos held on to clinch the three points and march on to the quarter finals. Cullum-Sanders was named the Player of the Match.
“I’m really proud to reach 100 games…it has been a long time coming,” said Williams on her milestone.
“I’ve had my share of ups and downs with injuries along the way, but I stuck to it and couldn’t have asked for anything better than to achieve it in NAIDOC Week wearing the Indigenous kit.”
The Hockeyroos will take on the winner of the match between the team that finishes second in Pool C and third in Pool B.
The quarter-final will be played at 7pm Wednesday 13 July local time (3am AEST, Thursday 14 July).
Hockeyroos 2 (Squibb 8’, Malone 24’)
South Africa 1 (du Plessis 13’)
@ Terrassa Olympic Stadium, Spain
Hockeyroos: 1.Claire Colwill, 2.Rosie Malone, 4.Amy Lawton, 6.Penny Squibb, 7.Aleisha Power (gk), 10.Maddy Fitzpatrick, 12.Greta Hayes, 13.Hattie Shand, 14.Steph Kershaw, 15.Kaitlin Nobbs, 18.Jane Claxton, 19.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 20.Karri Somerville, 21.Renee Taylor, 24.Mariah Williams, 28.Hannah Cullum-Sanders, 29.Rebecca Greiner, 30.Grace Stewart (c)
With thanks Hockey Australia.