The Australian road to the Beijing Olympics has received a shot in the arm, claiming gold at the 5 Nation Tournament in South Africa.
Despite fielding a relatively young side, the Kookaburras have taken it up to some of the best teams in the world and defeated Spain in a high quality final match.
After the Kookaburras controlled the tempo early in the match, scoring the first two goals of the game, Spain hit back hard after half time which saw them draw level at the 55 minute mark.
Some courageous play in the dying minutes saw a number of brilliant counter attacks from the Kookaburras which ultimately lead to the match winning goal from Grant Schubert at the 68 minute mark.
Goal keeper Nathan Burgers, who saved five penalty corner attempts, was named man of the match while experienced campaigner Rob Hammond was named man of the series.
Kookaburras coach Barry Dancer said he was extremely pleased with the result which will give the team more confidence throughout the remainder of their lead up to the Beijing Olympics.
"We showed outstanding courage throughout the match, particularly in the second half when we responded to a strong challenge from a very highly ranked opposition. Overall this was a great team performance throughout the entire tournament which will lay a strong platform for the remainder of our Olympic program," said Dancer.
Australia – Spain 3-2 (2-1)
Goals - AUS Doerner 13m PC, AUS Smith 27m PC, ESP Sojo 30m FG, ESP Frexia 55m FG, AUS Schubert 68m FG
Source: Hockey Australia
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