Great Britain 3
Petter (35′, FG), Martin (45′, PC), Toman (53′ PC)
Chile 0Great Britain’s women took an important step towards Tokyo with a three-goal victory in the first game of their two-legged FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in London.
The game was goalless at half time but Mark Hager’s side scored three times after the interval to give themselves the upper hand going into Sunday’s second leg.
Izzy Petter opened the scoring with the best goal of the game; Hannah Martin and Anna Toman also on target from penalty corners inside the final 15 minutes.
It was by no means comfortable though, and the first goal on Sunday will be crucial as both teams eye the huge prize of a trip to Japan next summer.
Full reportWith four minutes on the clock, GB had the first effort on target as Lily Owsley slapped an effort goalwards but Claudia Schuler stood tall in the Chile goal. A few moments later it was Hannah Martin who cleverly diverted goalwards, but again it was too close to the ‘keeper.
Early in the second quarter and Chile had their first sights of goal, winning two corners in quick succession, the second very well saved by Maddie Hinch. Great Britain were controlling possession but chances were limited with so much at stake.
Into the second half, Mark Hager’s side were beginning to press, and got their rewards on 35 minutes when young Izzy Petter scored with a super backhand finish from ten yards to break the deadlock. The 19-year-old has caught the eye since making her international debut in the FIH Pro League earlier in the year, and showed real quality to find the back of the net.
The home side were looking to add a quick second, and Tess Howard went close, before Martin had a good sight of goal but the impressive Schuler was out quickly. Right before the end of the third quarter GB did indeed get their second, Martin producing a poacher’s finish from a penalty corner.
The reigning Olympic champions were beginning to turn the screw, and Anna Toman was next on the scoresheet with 53 minutes played, her penalty corner deflected high into the net by a Chilean stick, giving Schuler no chance. With only three minutes to go, Chile were saved by the upright as Leah Wilkinson struck the post from close range after another Toman corner was blocked.
That proved to be the last meaningful action, and it was a satisfactory outcome for the women’s side. They played their cards close to their chest in the first half but opened up in the second period and got their rewards in front of goal.
As Maddie Hinch told the media after the game, the job is only half done and the first goal in Sunday’s second leg is absolutely crucial.
Great Britain: Hinch (GK), Toman, Ansley, Pearne-Webb (c), Unsworth, McCallin, Robertson, Howard, Owsley, Martin, Petter
Subs used: Townsend, Neal, Hunter, Costello, Watson, Wilkinson
Unused subs: Heesh (GK)