Australia started their IHF Emerging Nations Tournament with a draw against Faroe Islands on Saturday.
Australia vs Faroe Islands 34:34 (18:16)
Australia started strongly to take a four-goal lead early on, but Faroe Islands soon found their rhythm and narrowed Australia’s advantage to two.
Australia held the two-goal lead through to the second half, with head coach Jan Ottosen employing the seven-on-six method, which involves the goalkeeper being substituted for an additional attacking player, when Australia had possession.
Around the 40th minute Faroe Islands equalled the score before taking the lead – but Australia were not giving in easily and inside the last minute the score was levelled again.
A last-second attempt to score was denied by Faroe Islands keeper, and Australia and Faroe Islands must both content themselves with a draw in their first match.
“We played 7 vs 6 all match which worked in the first half, but in the second half we lost discipline, therefore our success was limited.
“Spirits wavered until six minutes before the end of the game, when we were four goals down, until the spirit was kicked into gear with the help of Caleb [Gahan] and his direction. After this we came back from 29-33 down and were able to have a chance at winning the game in the final seconds, but missed the goal. A good experience,” was Ottosen’s summary of the game.
Team captain Bevan Calvert (10 goals) said though the team are disappointed with finishing with a draw, team morale remains high:
“[We are] a little disappointed not to take the full points away, but the boys are in high spirits in a tournament where everyone thinks are an outside chance.
“There were definitely key moments where can improve and that’s what we need to focus on in the next two games in our pool,” concluded Calvert.
Written by: Courtney Gahan