The Kookaburras have defeated Korea in the championship match of the Perth 4 Nations Tournament in a close contest, giving them a taste of what they can expect at the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games.
The opening stages of the match were played under much tighter conditions compared to their previous meeting which saw the Kookaburras control the first half.
However as the game progressed the Kookaburras continued to get on top of their Korean opponents which eventually resulted in their first goal at the 21 minute mark after a remarkable fake shot by Jamie Dwyer resulted in an easy goal to Eli Matheson.
Despite trailing on the scoreboard the Koreans also looked dangerous around goals.
However the Kookaburras defense lead by Matthew Wells, Mark Knowles, Aaron Hopkins combined with goalkeeper Stephen Lambert to repel all early attacks and help set up a lot of rebound attacks.
As the game approached the half time break the Kookaburras remained well in control and were able to increase their lead further thanks to a Luke Doerner penalty corner conversion at the 26 minute mark.
However the persistence of the Korean team paid off, once again demonstrating their precision from penalty corners to get on the scoreboard and back in the game at the 28 minute mark.
The Kookaburras soon reclaimed the momentum only minutes later to give themselves some breathing room prior to half time via another Luke Doerner penalty corner conversion.
Korea started the second half well, constantly pressuring the Kookaburras defense until finally converting another penalty corner at the 51 minute mark to apply the pressure back on the Kookaburras.
Showing the trademark of a champion team the Kookaburras responded, with veteran Jamie Dwyer putting one in the back of the net at the 56 minute mark.
However the Koreans dug deep to bring the margin back to only one goal thanks to another penalty corner conversion to give them some hope.
After a few tense moments the Kookaburras were soon once again in control of the game, maintaining possession in the dying minutes to hold on for the victory.
The Kookaburras Olympic preparation will continue when they take on China, Korea and India again at the Darwin 4 Nations Tournament starting Wednesday 30 April.
Kookaburras 4 Korea 3 (2-1 half time)
Goals - Aus Matheson 21m FG, Aus Doerner 26m PC/ 34m PC, Kor Jang 28m PC/ 62m PC, Kor You 51m PC, Aus Dwyer 56m FG
Source: Hockey Australia
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