Australia will play the USA for gold at the World League Intercontinental Cup in Auckland after both finished pool play unbeaten.
Australia wrapped up their group with a 21-6 thrashing of Kazakhstan and the USA were convincing, 14-2 winners against China. Both sides have been prolific in finding the back of the net so it shapes as an entertaining final on Sunday.
Who plays for bronze will be decided tomorrow but it looks like Japan will take on Kazakhstan. Japan beat New Zealand in the final game of day four and play Saudi Arabia tomorrow while Kazakhstan are still to play New Zealand’s second team, who were thrashed 18- 3 by Argentina.
Quarters: 4-0, 4-1, 5-0, 5-2
Argentina’s German Yanez helped himself to seven goals in this one side match, taking him temporarily to the top of the tournament’s goal scoring list. Australia’s Joe Kayes moved past him later in the day, but Yanez’s eight goals are the most any male player scored at the tournament.
He was one of eight Argentina players to get on the score sheet with Esteban Corsi, finishing with three and Carlos Camnasio a double. Argentina were simply too good for New Zealand’s second team in all aspects, and were consistent in their scoring with four, four, five, and five goals in each quarter.
Quarters: 4-2, 5-1, 6-3, 5-0
Australia’s all round game was far too strong for Kazakhstan who couldn’t cope with the Aussies ability to score from inside, and when that wasn’t on, to rocket the ball in from the outside. Australia could rely on Joe Kayes inside, with the big center forward leading the competition with 18 goals, and when he takes a rest, Nathan Power fills in superbly. Sometimes they work in tandem with Kayes creating the shooting space for Power.
Kayes got five goals against Kazakhstan and Power four. Nick Brooks has eight goals for the tournament and Aaron Younger’s a reliable shooter too, ramming home two goals against Kazakhstan. And Aidan Roach, who normally passes to others, finished with three goals as eight of the Australians got on the score sheet. Kazakhstan’s best player was against Yevgeniy Medvedev, who finished with half of their six goals.
Australia’s Aidan Roach commented:
“It’s good to get on the score sheet, but when I do, it’s because of my teammates. We are a robust team with a lot of options. It’s good to have plenty of strings to our bow.”
Quarters: 3-0, 5-1, 4-0, 2-1
The USA confirmed they’d play Australia in the final with a convincing win against China that emphasized their ability to score throughout the team. Eight got on the score sheet with Hannes Daube finishing with three while four players notched up doubles.
Just as impressive was the USA defense which kept China to just two goals. They will need to be tight against Australia who have the tournament’s leading goal scorer in Joe Kayes. Alexander Obert is confident they can contain Kayes and he’s looking forward to the match after playing in Australia’s national league last year.
Alexander Obert on marking Australia’s Joe Kayes in the final:
“Joe is a great player and an even better person and I’m looking forward to coming up against him and some of my old Aussie club mates. It should be a great game.”
Quarters: 2-8, 2-3, 4-5, 2-2
Japan’s status as No7 in the world was there to be seen in an impressive win against the host – New Zealand. Their defense, including at times a highly effect press defense, was as good as an attack that saw them score eight goals in the first quarter and effectively take the Kiwis out of the contest. Yusuke Inaba led the way, scoring 5 for Japan. His power and accuracy were too much for New Zealand, though Sid Dymond, despite the scoreline, did make some remarkable saves, as did Bae Fountain later in the match.
And after the first quarter 2-8 blow out, New Zealand managed to peg Japan back for the rest of the match, losing the second and third quarters by just a goal and level, 2-2 in the fourth. New Zealand’s Iosefa Tuiasu scored highly respectable four goals and Anton Sunde finished with three.
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