The Kookaburras have put in a strong performance against World Champion, Germany, in the first of their three tests, winning 4-0.
The last time the two teams played was the World Cup final, in Germany last year, where the host nation came from behind to win the cup. It was a different story last night with the Kookaburras deep defence standing strong and their forwards capitalising on their opportunities.
As expected, it was a fast and physical opening with a bit of feeling between these two sides after their recent history. It was the Kookaburras that drew first blood though, when Liam DeYoung pounced on a rebound from the keeper and directed it home.
The Germans had opportunities at the other end but a couple of great saves from Lambert, and a good block on the post from Josh Hawes, kept them out.
In the 18th minute the Kookaburras drew another penalty corner but David Guest's shot was blocked, seven minutes later he found his range with a strong flick to the keeper's left for a 2-0 lead.
Lambert was in the action again before half time with another great penalty corner save, low to his left, which kept the unchanged going into half time.
The second half began like the first, with both teams attacking the ball with ferocity. Australia had some early chances to extend their lead before they got one in the 48th minute with an impressive end-to-end goal.
Matthew Wells, closing in on his 200th game for the Kookaburras, produced one of his bullet-like long passes out of defence to DeYoung on the left who took the ball into the circle, sliding a pass past the keeper's left to Butler for a deflection in on the right post. It was an impressive piece of running from Butler who'd been involved in the earlier transition to Wells.
Some more good work in deep defence, this time by Nathan Burgers in the box, kept a couple of German plays out, while at the other end the Kookaburras made it 4-0 in the 62nd minute when an unmarked Brooks passed off to a sliding Eglington for a great deflection goal and a very strong win.
"Today was a pleasing performance and result," said national coach, Barry Dancer.
"There were many contributors in a very even team performance. Some good penalty corner conversions and counter attacking play. It was a good start to a three match series where we expect different things from Germany our next match."
The Kookaburras play the second game of their three tests on Saturday.
Source: Hockey Australia
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