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Hockeyroos down USA in Pro League

The Hockeyroos have continued their excellent start to the new Pro League with a nerve-wracking 2-1 victory over the USA in Sydney.

Hockeyroos down USA in Pro League

The Hockeyroos have continued their excellent start to the new Pro League with a nerve-wracking 2-1 victory over the USA in Sydney.

The Hockeyroos have left it late to grind out a 2-1 win over the USA in the Pro League match in Sydney.

Veteran defender Jodie Kenny, returning from a month out with injury, scored the all-important equaliser in the first minute of the last quarter with a powerful drag flick from a penalty corner.


And striker Mariah Williams, arguably the form striker of the competition, secured the win with a rocket after a clever pass from Emily Chalker.

Australia top the table with 14 points from six games while the USA have just one point from three games.

"It's about persistence and finding a way to win," said Australian coach Paul Gaudoin.

"The second half, we had to lift the urgency and we did. The girls held their heads up. International hockey is not pretty at times and they had a lot of people back in defence the whole game.

"I was pleased with our tenacity."

Those late goals spared the blushes of the home team, who should have won by six or more after a blistering opening quarter when they had seven excellent chances.

But as so often happens, the visitors scored against the run of play when Lauren Moyer pounced on a missed trap and pushed the ball into the corner of the goal in the seventh minute.

The USA were happy to drop all 11 players back into deep defence to deny Australia space and time to receive and shoot and, the longer it went on, the more it looked like a boilover.

USA goalkeeper Jessica Jecko was player of the match and almost delivered the lowly ranked visitors the upset of the tournament, until Kenny and Williams scored.

Hockey Australia's social media account was bombarded by irate fans, wondering why the preceding men's game was shown live on Foxtel, but not the women's.

The women's Pro League has a weekly home-and-away format featuring the world's top nine teams.

Australia next host Argentina and New Zealand in Sydney in a fortnight while the Americans play on Friday in New Zealand.

The top four teams will play finals in June in Holland.

AAP


AAP




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