Five-goal burst sets up Aussie Stingers against Canada


Match heroes
Tokyo Olympian and 2019 FINA World Championship bronze medallist Bronte Halligan scored six of the Aussie Stingers’ first eight goals and then let it to the rest of the team to make the charge. Four were on extra-man attack, one from the penalty line and the other from the field. Newcomer Charlize Andrews and Tenealle Fasala scored twice each while four others made the sheet. Canadian captain Gurpreet Sohi scored four of five goals in the mid-match resurgence. Two were on counter, including an excellent lob finish with her third goal. Only three other players breached the Aussie defence, including Verica Bakoc with the last three scores, from either side of the pool, the first and third on extra.

Turning point
With the match at 2-2 late I the first quarter,  the Stingers took control and pushed the score to 7-2 before Canada brought it back to 8-6 behind two minutes into the third period. Australia reclaimed the match with a spree of its own, charging to 13-7 with six minutes remaining, which proved the difference. It then became 14-8 before Bakoc’s barrage.

Stats don’t lie
Australia was more efficient around the pool, converting 52 per cent of its shots to Canada’s 35 per cent. On extra-man attack, Australia nailed six from seven, but its heavy-handedness gave up 15 exclusions, which Canada could only convert seven. Australia blocked 17 shots compared to Canada's nine and had the better of the steals at 9/7. Turnovers hurt Canada 8/5, as did the offensives — 4/2. But, what probably hurt was having just four scorers compared to Australia’s seven.

Bottom line
Australia and Canada are always at loggerheads with varying results and early in the Olympic cycle, Australia made a statement that Canada will not be happy about as it had international training with Hungary before coming to Lima, while Australia has only had the one international trip — to the Olympics — since before the Covid-19 pandemic. The power of Halligan, the deadly extra-man count and tidier play in all aspects proved the crucial difference.

North Americans lord it over Central Americans

The new-look United States women’s team continued on from Monday and the learning process ahead of the harder matches will be greatly accepted. This chance to play on the international stage will assist USA well in its long-term planning. USA led 4-0 at the quarter and 8-1 at halftime, before pouting in the goals in the third quarter for 18-1. Cuba added an extra-man goal in the final period, Dalia Grau adding to her first-quarter penalty strike.

USA’s best once again was Jenna Flynn, with five goals from 11 shots to go with the six she amassed on Monday against Colombia. She was followed by Taylor Smith with four from eight attempts. Emily Ausmus, who scored four on Monday, added another three.

Both teams struggled in extra-man attack. Cuba converted one from five and USA two from five. Cuba did well wot block a staggering 25 USA shots while having seven of its own stopped. Cuba only managed 10 shots on goal to USA’s amazing 48. USA had the better of the steals — 17/44 — and turnovers — 18/6 — while gaining four offensives.

Brazil proving it’s the best of the South Americans

Samantha Ferreira staked her claim as a leading scorer with a tournament best of seven goals  in the 20-4 rout of Colombia. Her skills all around the pool were the spur for her team-mates to keep attacking. Leticia Belorio chimed in with three and four others scored a pair as Brazil went 5-0, 5-1, 4-2 and 6-1 through the quarters. Four Colombians scored with eight players taking at least one shot. Susana Atehortua was persistent with seven attempts for no personal joy.

The match was all about statistics with Brazil shooting 36 times to Colombia’s 20. Defence hurt the extra-man count with Colombia converting one from five and Brazil just one from three. Of the seven penalty attempts, Colombia missed one of its three and Brazil sent in all its four. Brazil made 18 steals to Colombia’s eight and had the better of the blocks — 18/8.

Wednesday line-ups

USA plays Brazil, Cuba faces Australia and Colombia takes on Argentina.