Australia’s game against Korea was always going to be tough. The Asian champions sitting second in the Group, just one point behind Germany, had already beaten World Champions France and drawn with Denmark.
The game started as expected, 11 minutes in Korea led 9:3. However, Australia regrouped and began to push back, to 6:9 at sixteen minutes. In fact, from here on in the first half, Australia scored 7 to Korea’s 9, making it 10:18 at the break.
Australia started the scoring in the second half and continued their relentless fight till the end, but Korea showed their experience and slowly widened the gap to end the game with a final score of 17:34.
Whilst Sally Potocki was the stand-out player, and the game’s top scorer with 10, Jessica Fallah had another fantastic performance in the Australian shirt. The young newcomer to the team has been the surprise of the tournament for Australia. Former Australian men’s team coach, Taip Ramadani was especially impressed with her contribution, “she is fearless, has lots of speed and I was surprised with her maturity on the court. I think she has the potential to be one of our best”.
Australia worked hard to limit the opportunities for Korea. It was Australia’s closest and most visibly enjoyable game to date. The atmosphere in the area was great for both teams with the excited buzz of the crowd. It was a day game and the sounds of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi oi oi being chanted by our traveling supporters and the visiting Japanese schoolchildren who adopted the team for the day audible through the whole match. The team made sure to thank them after.
While Australia hadn’t met Korea in the Asian Championships in 2018, the qualification tournament for this world Championship, the two countries have built a strong relationship.
The Korean Club Busan has been hosting Australia at the international tournament and pre-camp for the last three years. Head Coach, Heba Aly expressed her thanks in the post-match interview.
Scorers for Australia: Sally Potocki 10, Ana Meded 2, Rosa Boyd 2, Heather Cooper, Jess Fallah and Keeper Jemima Harbort with one each.
The Aussies now have a rest day and play the last Group game against Brazil on Friday
Photos courtesy IHF