The Hockeyroos cruised to a 6-0 win against China on Monday. Image: Hockeyroos/Twitter

The Hockeyroos have surged to the top of the group B table with a dominant 6-0 win over China on Monday afternoon.

Australia surged to an emphatic 6-0 victory over China at Oi Hockey Stadium on Monday afternoon. For all your Tokyo 2020 coverage, stay tuned to The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and the Olympics Central.

The Hockeyroos continued their winning ways following Sunday’s match against Spain, scoring two first-half goals and then sealing the match late in the second half, before another two goals in the last three minutes of the match added the cherry on top of an already dominant performance. 

The sides went scoreless in the first quarter, Australia controlling the game with a couple of shots on goal early.

But it was the second quarter where the Hockeyroos got on the board, Emily Chalker scoring back-to-back goals in the 16th and 22nd minutes to take her tournament goal to three. 

Chalker’s first goal was a clever deflection in close after receiving Renee Taylor’s desperate pass which kept the ball alive. 

She followed it up minutes later with another brilliant deflection on the goal-line after Rosie Malone enforced a turnover outside the circle and evaded China’s defense, before setting Chalker up with a bullet of a pass on the reverse. 

It sent Australia into half-time 2-0 up, with China scarcely able to execute a shot on goal in the first half. 

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The Hockeyroos then continued this dominance into the third quarter, immediately taking the ball forward and applying the offensive pressure as a Mariah Williams shot was saved by Chinese goalkeeper Dongxiao Li.

But immediately after the deflection came another piece of brilliance for the Aussies, Brooke Peris with a clever tap off the bounce and past the goalkeeper to score Australia’s third. 

It was the second time in as many games this tournament that the Hockeyroos have scored in the first minute after half-time, following Sunday’s campaign-opening win against Spain.

Play was halted halfway through the third quarter, after a nasty incident between Australia’s Emily Chalker and China’s Bingfeng Gu.

Although completely innocuous, the delay went for a number of minutes, as Chalker and Gu clashed heads after both hesitated upon the umpire’s whistle for a free hit. 

While Chalker was down for a few seconds, it was Gu who came off second-best, bleeding from her eye after colliding with Chalker’s head.

Chalker returned to play immediately, while Gu went off for treatment, the field also being cleaned before the resumption of play. 

Australia continued into the final break 3-0 up after a shot late went across the face from Savannah Fitzpatrick.

The tussle continued into the final term, Australia pressing forward again, before Amy Lawton provided the cross and Rosie Malone slapped it into the back of the goals.

It all but sealed the game with just under seven minutes left in the quarter, Australia’s fourth goal for the game.

But it was even later in the piece that Australia iced the game nicely, Stephanie Kershaw and Grace Stewart adding goals within minutes of each other. 

Stewart’s came with less than two and a half minutes left in the match, a powerful shot that breached the defences of China’s goalie to trickle over the line and place a nice cherry on top of a brilliant performance.

The dominant win sees the Hockeyroos placed first in pool B after two matches, and ignites their hope of a medal, which can certainly be achieved with more form like they displayed on Monday afternoon.

Final Result: Australia 6 – 0 China

Australia goals: Emily Chalker 16’, 22’, Brooke Peris 31’, Rosie Malone 54’, Stephanie Kershaw 56’, Grace Stewart 58’

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