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Aug. 8, 2016 — USA 2, Australia 1

USA 0 1 1 0 — 2
AUS 0 0 1 0 — 1
USA: Vittese (Crandall, Bam), pc, 25th
USA: Van Sickle (Kolojejchick), pc, 42nd
AUS: Slattery (Williams), fg, 43rd


FULL TIME That’s all for now; good day and good hockey

FULL TIME The Americans lead the pool for the moment, with Australia, amazingly, still pointless

FULL TIME The U.S. now engages in two games in less than 30 hours when they have to play Japan on Wednesday afternoon and India Thursday evening

FULL TIME The Australian side did provide a stern test, but their indiscipline led to both U.S. goals, and, let it be said, some American indiscipline allowed Australia a shorthanded goal

FULL TIME Indeed, the only time the Americans have been vulnerable has been when they have gotten caught with too many players forward on penalty corners, and when the opposition has been able to spring a snowbird

FULL TIME The Applebees once again rode their defense and goalie Jackie Briggs, and played pretty much error-free hockey on the way to the win

FULL TIME The United States with an enormous three points against Australia with a 2-1 win!

59:30 Bam and Kolojejchick take it to the corner flag

58:55 Turnover! Williams from the angle but hits the side of the U.S. cage

58:30 States need to be smart and see this out

58:03 AUS PC Kenney with the dragflick, but it is eye-high on Briggs

57:30 Vittese in on goal for the States, but Lynch scoops it out

57:00 Australia has Slattery in front but Stewart’s pass deflects high and handcuffs her teammate

56:30 Smith pounds it into the goal from an angle but from outside the striking circle

55:20 Australia with another free hit out from the 16 — and once again, they are walking! How can this be? The Hockeyroos need to rescue a point from this and there is no visible urgency

54:00 Edwina Bone is in the second-goal area, but has no momentum to the cage; she is forced into a backhand that misses everything

52:30 Emily Smith goes for a circle penetration, Stephanie Fee with the interception and the play off Smith’s foot; a veteran move for the Duke defender

51:45 States have a 3-on-1 on Rachael Lynch, but they can’t get a good-enough shot on goal

48:25 USA PC Crandall pumps the ball towards the right post and it is deflected wide by Australia’s poster

47:30 Witmer, for the States, is in on Lynch but the defense holds firm

46:40 Nance has an open shot but shanks it well wide!

45:00 The fourth quarter is under way

THREE QUARTER TIME The United States has the lead and a two-player advantage for another 15 seconds or so, but the Hockeyroos finally have shown some urgency

THREE QUARTER TIME The horn goes off; the States lead 2-1

43:30 Williams gets the deflection on frame, but Briggs was equal. Australia is doing this with two players in the sin bin

42:25 I’ve never seen a shortie while two players down at this level; the States need a bit more security when it comes to a quick counter

42:22 AUS GOAL Kathryn Slattery puts it in off a pass from Moriah Williams as the Hockeyroos convert a snowbird; USA leads 2-1

42:00 USA PC Dawson with the sling at goal; Lynch with the save, and the Hockeyroos sprint upfield

41:53 USA PC Fee chops the ball off an Aussie foot; will rerack

41:51 AUS YELLOW Madonna Blyth is now off for five minutes; not what you want from your captain at a time like this

41:36 AUSTRALIA REFERRAL The question is whether there was a dangerous play on the goal; the appeal is rejected, the goal is good, and now neither team can ask for a referral. Any future challenges in this game have to come from the umpiring crew

41:36 USA PC and GOAL Van Sickle is able to shovel in a cross from Kolojejchick and the States lead 2-0!

40:15 AUS YELLOW Georgie Parker with the yellow card for a bad tackle from behind on Kasold; ten-minute power play!

39:15 Vittese with the diagonal; Bam can’t free her stick for the tip! The Applebees are buzzing here!

38:00 Vittese with a backhand cross that Kolojejchick pushes about a half-foot wide!

37:15 AUS GREEN Jane Claxton is off the pitch for two minutes

35:16 AUS PC Jodie Kenny with the dragflick, but Briggs with the save!

35:16 USA REFERRAL The U.S. made a challenge regarding a lifted ball, but the appeal is rejected and they lose their referral

34:30 Australia gets a free out from the 16, and the Aussie players are walking instead of running after the ball to get it back into play. Where is the urgency?

32:30 Bam is open at the spot and tries a blind backhand shot but the ball flies wide

30:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME I mean, think of this: Australia went through a 13-year span between 1988 and 2000 when they medaled in every competition except one; they can be that good

HALFTIME Australia is not playing with the urgency of a team which could find itself with zero points after two games

HALFTIME The Australians have work to do on penalty corners. Morgan’s dragflicks are lollipops that Briggs has no trouble saving

HALFTIME The States have parlayed defense and opportunistic finishing to take this advantage. Vittese with another enormous goal, and Crandall and Fee have been immense playing against the vaunted Australia attack

HALFTIME The horn goes with the Americans holding a 1-0 lead

29:45 The Hockeyroos have a pair of players deep in the goalmouth, but Crandall is flawless in clearing the ball between them

29:15 Vittese on the right wing, slings a ball which wrongfoots everyone; there was an open space at the top of the circle if someone had filled in

28:48 The U.S. with a free hit in a dangerous position, but the umpire won’t let the Americans execute a self-start

25:42 AUS PC Morgan with the dragflick, and Briggs gets it with her waffle; rebound goes off an Australia foot

24:20 Vittese seems to come up big in these kinds of contests. Once she gets one in, the goal seems to get bigger for her

24:14 USA PC and GOAL Michelle Vittese with the low sweep shot off the left option from Crandall’s stick stop, finds net! USA leads 1-0

23:00 AUSTRALIA GREEN Madonna Blyth is off for a bad tackle for two minutes

21:10 Hard diagonal to Gonzalez is wide of the mark

18:45 American free hit in a dangerous position, but Sharkey doesn’t carry it five yards before circle penetration; they can’t afford turnovers that deep in the attack zone

18:00 Enormous tackle by Crandall wins possession for the States

16:40 Caitlin Van Sickle with an open shot on the left angle, but it’s blocked out of bounds by the Hockeyroo defense

15:45 AUS PC Georgina Morgan with the flick, Briggs with the save! Blyth with the follow at the left post, but it misses the cage

15:00 The second quarter is under way

QUARTER TIME The level of play is very even, but the defenses were beginning to fray a bit by the final two minutes of the half; the interval couldn’t come soon enough for the U.S. defense

QUARTER TIME The horn goes with the sides level at 0-0

14:40 A late turnover finds Grace Stewart in front of the goal cage, but Briggs make a pair of 10-bell saves!

14:20 Australia breaks in on the right wing, but Crandall makes a tackle and an interception! What defense!

13:55 Bam steals, rounds the baseline, but scuffs it wide!

13:30 Katie Bam goes back to work on the other end and she forces Lynch into a good stop

12:30 Mariah Williams is in on the left, but the backhander is high over the cage; might work for Aussie Rules Football, but not here

10:20 A free hit in a dangerous position for the States, but it hits Witmer’s foot

8:00 Grace Stewart of Australia is in on Briggs, but she is stopped on the reverse shot!

6:30 Witmer and Sharkey are in on Lynch, who goes down on one knee, but the shot goes begging

5:30 A clash of sticks and Gonzalez is tripped up; no card, but a free to the States

2:10 Long run leads to a diagonal pass on the left wing, and it’s too far for Kathryn Slattery

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME The United States is wearing the all-navy kit with white numbers, Australia is in the gold with green numbers and trim

PREGAME The teams are warming up on the blue turf, with temperatures hovering around 73 with a slight overcast

PREGAME But it is early days, and Australia, losers to the U.S. six weeks ago in the bronze medal match at the FIH Champions Trophy, needs to get the three points for a win. And the Hockeyroos would like nothing better than to do it against the U.S.

PREGAME It is a topsy-turvy Group B in this Olympics. As things stand now, the second- and third-ranked teams in the world, Argentina and Australia, would be sent home if the quarterfinals were being held now

PREGAME The excellence has kept going from that era of domination, as the Hockeyroos’ inspirational Allyson Annan now coaches the world No. 1 team, the Netherlands

PREGAME The Hockeyroos built their brand identity through a stretch of bulletproof play from roughly 1988 to 2000, during which the team won five Champions’ Trophies, three Olympics, and two World Cups. Only once during this stretch did the team not medal in one of these three competitions: a fifth-place finish at the Barcelona Olympics

PREGAME Australia, without one of its main stars, struggled mightily two days ago against Team GB, losing 2-1. This was the same Team GB which finished next to last as host nation of the Champions’ Trophy just six weeks ago

PREGAME The story of this match — and of the Australian effort at this Olympics — is the suspension of scoring sensation Anna Flanagan. She had allegedly hidden her arrest and subsequent conviction of driving under the influence (a major crime in Australia) from sports officials and has been held off the international roster since news came to light

PREGAME I believe today’s key matchups are going to be Madonna Blyth (AUS, m) against Melissa Gonzalez (USA, m), Jodie Kenny (AUS, corner specialist) vs. Julia Reinprecht (USA, corner flyer), and Casey Sablowski (AUS, f/m) against Lauren Crandall (USA, d)

PREGAME The Hockeyroos are 0-1 in pool play here in Rio; the Americans are 1-0

PREGAME Hello, and welcome to Deodoro Olympic Park for this second-round pool match between Australia and the United States

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