Hockey: Australia and Japan collect wins at Hawke's Bay Cup

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Ashleigh Nelson of Australia under pressure from Mayumi Ono and Maki Sakaguchi of Japan. Photo / Getty Images
Ashleigh Nelson of Australia under pressure from Mayumi Ono and Maki Sakaguchi of Japan. Photo / Getty Images

Australia beat Canada 4-0 in their Hawke's Bay Cup match at the Festival of Hockey in Hastings this afternoon, but coach Adam Commens was far from satisfied with the performance of his players.

Australia went into their round three match as the favoured side given their world ranking of third compared to Canada at 19 and completely dominated Canada in all facets of the game and created a large number of gilt edged scoring opportunities.

They went into the match knowing that they had to score plenty of goals to lift their goal difference in pool A if they were to wrest the top spot from Japan. Both sides ended pool play in an identical position with two wins and a draw and a 6 goal difference.

The result see's Japan take top spot in the pool as they scored a total of 10 goals in pool play against Australia's 7.

Post match Commens expressed his disappointment at the players lack of finishing in the goal area and believes the players are not putting the lessons learnt on the practice turf into their match day performance.

Australia took a three nil lead into halftime with penalty corners to Georgina Morgan in the 9th minute and Jodie Kenny in the 14th minute. Grace Stewart completed the first half scoring when she scored a field goal in the 18th minute.

Canada's defence was more secure in the second half with Australia only able to add one further goal when Grace Stewart scored her second in the 56th minute.

At the end of pool play in Group A Japan takes the top spot from Australia, then Canada and Korea.

Meanwhile, earlier the opening game of round three at the Festival of Hockey proved to be a close fought affair.

Japan came into their final game at the top of Pool A after a win and a draw in the opening rounds.

Korea had yet to score a point and was at the bottom of the pool.

Japan dominated the opening 10 minutes but it was Korea who was first on the scoreboard when their Captain Bomi Kim scored from a penalty stroke.

Japan were again dominant in the second quarter and found their reward in the 24th minute when Hazuki Nagai scored from a penalty corner and they took the lead for the first time one minute later when Yuri Nagai scored from broken play.

Korea began to struggle in the third quarter and Young Sil Lee was handed a green then a yellow card in the 36th and 40th minute.

Mie Nakashima settled the match in Japan's favour when she scored from the field in the 47th minute. Korea mounted waves of attacks in the final 10 minutes but couldn't break through the resolute and disciplined defence of Japan.

Japan are now at the top of Pool A but must wait for the result from the Australia - Canada match to see if they will stay there on goal difference.

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