World Cup: Aus beat US 3-1

Australia made it two wins out of two at the Women's Field Hockey World Cup in Madrid, Spain on Thursday, with a 3-1 win over the US.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:37 IST
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Day two of the 2006 Women's Hockey World Cup concentrated on Pool B on Thursday, with the first match out proving to be a very cagey affair. South Africa held firm in defence, keeping out no fewer than 12 penalty corners as they hung on for a 0-0 draw against South Korea, ranked four places above them. There were nine goals in the other Pool B matches though, with Australia taking on the United States and emerging 3-1 winners. Aussies dominate Sarah Taylor opened the scoring in the ninth minute after her penalty corner was poorly dealt with by an American defence at sixes and sevens. The United States hit back from a set piece of their own three minutes later - Kelly Doton taking a more direct route to fire the ball past Rachel Imison as parity lasted to half-time. However, it didn't take Liz Booth's Australian side long to re-assert their authority after the break. Hope Munro's quick thinking in the 34th minute allowed Nikki Hudson to make some space for herself and a classy reverse-stick shot to the near post made it 2-1. Angie Skirving added a third goal three minutes from time to underline Australia's superiority. The Aussies secured a second win from two games following their 1-0 win over South Africa on Wednesday. Tough match Argentina, ranked second in the world behind The Netherlands, kept pace with Australia at the top of Pool B with a 3-2 win over Japan. But Claudia Medici's side were made to sweat in the closing stages after looking in total control at one stage. Rosario Luchetti scored from a penalty corner variation after just nine minutes and Agustina Garcia converted from her own penalty corner five minutes later. When Mercedes Margalot converted another Garcia penalty corner with nineteen minutes left it looked like Argentina, the Olympic bronze medallists, were going to run up a cricket score. But first Kaori Chiba and then Chie Kimura struck in the space of thirty seconds to set up a nervous last ten minutes for Argentina. They held on though and share top spot in Pool B with Australia on six points. Then come the Koreans with four, South Africa with one, and the US and Japan yet to register.(AP)