Dwyer double gives Austalia victory against Spain
Pool A - Australia 3-2 Spain
Two goals from Australian superstar Jamie Dwyer helped the Kookaburras claim a 3-2 victory against Spain in a hugely entertaining opening match at the Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy in Auckland, New Zealand.
Australia began the first half with a clear intent of asserting their authority over a Spanish team that has struggled for form in recent months. It took the Kookaburras just over ten seconds to win the first penalty corner of the match, but the attempted drag-flick from Chris Ciriello failed to trouble Spain keeper Francisco Cortez. Despite this chance, it was Spain that went closest to opening the scoring through Roc Oliva, who rattled the frame of the goal with a smart deflection.
Kookaburras captain Jamie Dwyer gave his team the lead in the tenth minute, slotting home from close range after some smart play from Eddie Ockenden down the right. Although Australia were fully deserving of their lead, the Spanish had already shown glimpses that they were more than capable of giving their illustrious opponents a run for their money. They hit back with two goals in less than three first half minutes, both of which were the result of Australia losing possession in their own half. Gabriel Dabanch pulled Spain level with a chipped finish from a tight angle before Edi Tubau burst into the circle before crashing a fierce strike into the bottom left corner to turn the match on its head.
Australia were rattled, but regained their composure and hit back early in the second half. Again it was that man Jamie Dwyer, with the brilliant attacker showing exactly why he is a four time winner of the FIH Player of the Year award when he flicked into the roof of the Spanish net.
Spain’s Tubau almost re-established the lead for his team when he weaved his way into the circle before forcing a superb save from Australia keeper Andrew Charter. It proved to be a pivotal moment in the match, as Australia went in search of the winning goal. With six minutes of the match remaining, Spain conceded a penalty corner which was eventually dispatched by Des Abbott who slammed a loose ball into the roof of the goal. Spain rallied hard in the dying minutes of the match, but Ric Charlesworth’s team held on to secure victory.
Australia - Spain 3-2 - Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy Men 2011
> Australia secured their fourth successive win over Spain at world level hockey events, following victories at the 2009 and 2010 Champions Trophy and the 2010 World Cup.
> Australia won their opening match at a CT tournament for the 7th time in succession. They went on to reach the final in 5 of the previous 6 CT tournaments.
> Jamie Dwyer scored twice to join a select group of six Australian players with at least 20 CT career goals: Mark Hager (31), Stephen Davies (28), Troy Elder (25), Jay Stacy (22), Luke Doerner (20) and Grant Schubert (20).
> Jamie Dwyer surpassed Ric Charlesworth’s career total of 18 CT goals.
> Australia have now won 16 of the 17 CT matches in which Jamie Dwyer scored, their only loss being a 3-2 defeat against Germany in 2002.
> Des Abbott scored his 10th CT goal and his second PC goal in CT competition.
> Eduard Tubau scored his 20th CT career goal in 41 CT matches. He became the fourth Spanish player to reach this milestone of 20 CT goals joining Santi Freixa (31), Javier Arnau (27) and Pablo Amat (21).
> Spain’s Gabriel Dabanch scored his 2nd CT career goal and his first since netting a 64th minute equaliser against England (3-3) in 2010.
> Australia will take on Spain for the 23rd time in Champions Trophy competition (14W - 5D - 3L).
> The Kookaburras have won their last 3 CT encounters with Spain and are unbeaten in their last 4, since losing 3-2 at Kuala Lumpur 2007.
> Luke Doerner is Australia’s top goalscorers in CT matches against Spain (5 goals). Only Teun de Nooijer (NED) has scored more CT goals against Spain (8).
> At Melbourne 2009, Australia beat Spain 10-3. Thirteen is still the record for most goals in a CT match.
> In the 2008 CT final Australia beat Spain 4-1, goals scored by Des Abbott, Jamie Dwyer (PS), Eddie Ockenden and Eli Matheson. Xavier Ribas (PC) scored for Spain.
> Last year, Australia beat Spain 2-0 at the World Cup in Delhi and 3-1 at the Champions Trophy in Monchengladbach.
> Australia participate for a record 32nd time in a Champions Trophy tournament. They only missed out on the 2004 event.
> Australia are ranked 1st in the world. They are the reigning Champions Trophy and World champions.
> Australia aim to become the first team to win four successive Champions Trophy titles. The Kookaburras have won each of the last three CT editions and have collected 11 CT titles in total.
> Luke Doerner was crowned joint top goalscorer in each of the last two CT editions scoring 6 goals at Melbourne 2009 and netting 5 times Monchengladbach 2010.
> Australia welcome 3 CT debutants to their team: Matt Gohdes, Glenn Simpson and Andrew Charter.
> Desmond Abbott has scored in three successive Champions Trophy matches. The record for scoring in most successive CT matches for Australia is 6 by Luke Doerner (2009-2010) and Stephen Davies (1997-1999).
> Spain are the most experienced squad at Auckland 2011 in terms of CT matches played. The 18 players have a total of 391 CT matches under their belt.
> At an average age of 26 years and 266 days Spain are the second oldest squad at Auckland 2011. Only Pakistan are older (28 years - 8 days).
> Spain are ranked fourth on the world ranking. Their best CT result came in 2004 when they won the Champions Trophy beating Netherlands 4-2 in the final.
> There are only 2 CT debutants in the Spanish squad: 23-year-old Alex Casasayas and 26-year-old Juan Carlos Ballbe.
> Santi Freixa is Spain’s top goalscorer in CT competition having scored 31 goals in 38 CT matches.
> At the 2010 CT in Mönchengladbach Pau Quemada was joint top scorer with Australia’s Desmond Abbott, Luke Doerner, Jamie Dwyer, Jason Wilson and Holland’s Teun de Nooijer and Mink van der Weerden all tied on 5 goals.