WorldHockey Young Player of the Year 2008 Eddie Ockenden and veteran Grant Schubert have combined to help the Kookaburras hand coach Ric Charlesworth his first victory in charge of the team, turning the tables on last night's loss to defeat the Netherlands 4-2.
Although the Kookaburras conceded a goal in the opening minutes via a penalty corner conversion, they appeared to control far more of the play in the first half.
Young gun Eddie Ockenden moved the ball well through the midfield and was well supported by Rob Hammond.
With striker Des Abbott again looking dangerous up forward the Kookaburras began to generate scoring opportunities, however failed to convert several penalty corner attempts.
Newcomers Joel Carroll and Matthew Butturini continued to play well in the back half and repelled the ball back into the Kookaburras scoring zone, however still the Aussies were unable to transfer their great play into scoreboard results.
Eventually Eddie Ockenden displayed why he was awarded the 2008 FIH Young Player of the Year, converting a field goal following some strong midfield work from
Ockenden began the second half just as he had finished the first, giving the Kookaburras the lead after an impressive display in the circle which resulted in a field goal at the 40 minute mark.
The Kookaburras looked to score again only minutes later, but a hit left of the goal by Des Abbott failed to extent their lead.
389 game Dutch veteran Teun de Nooijer ensured the Kookaburras lead was short lived, taking advantage of an open net to convert his second goal of the series and tie the match.
Keeping their composure, the Kookaburras continued to attack and scored a crucial goal at the 60 minute mark thanks to a diving effort by Grant Schubert following a pass outside the circle from Mark Knowles.
With the lead now back in their favor the Kookaburras weren't done with yet, with Schubert recording his second goal after converting a field goal in the 70th minute to ensure victory.
Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth was generally pleased with the victory.
'It was a fairly solid performance from the guys and we had a lot more penetration. We were more organized, but we still had some moments of lapses. Overall I'm a lot happier, but in saying that there is still a lot of work to do, and the guys are aware of that,' said Charlesworth.
Goals - Ned Takema 2m PC, Aus Ockenden 29m FG/ 40m FG, Ned De Nooijer, Aus Schubert 61st FG/ 70th m FG
Game 3: Friday 23 January
Game 4: Sunday 25 January
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