(Photo: © FIH / Grant Treeby)

Australia have qualified for Sunday’s final after beating Germany 3-1. All remaining five teams have still chances to grab the second spot. Spain drew with New Zealand 4-4 and England defeated the Netherlands 4-3.
On Saturday England face New Zealand, Netherlands play Germany and Australia compete with Spain.

Last minute goal secures Spain one point against the Black Sticks
New Zealand squandered a 4-2 lead. Miquel DELAS secured the draw when he converted Spain’s last penalty corner.

New Zealand started very confidently after beating the Netherlands on Tuesday. They were the team with the better opportunities in the first half. Thanks to Spanish goalie Francisco CORTES the Black Sticks did not take the lead. Spain opened the score in the 15th minute when Roc OLIVA’s shot was unfortunately deflected over the goal-line by Blair HOPPING’s stick. The Black Sticks kept up their pace and equalized four minutes later. Nicholas WILSON picked up a great reverse stick shot by Simon CHILD and tipped it in. Now the score could have gone in either direction.

Spain’s captain Santi FREIXA brought the lead back but soon after, Simon CHILD tied the score. Seventeen seconds before the halftime whistle he benefited from Ryan ARCHIBALD’s work who brought the ball into the circle. A Spanish defender pushed the ball accidently into the stick of CHILD who did not hesitate and fired a reverse stick shot past CORTES.

New Zealand were the more enthusiastic team in the second half who deserved their first lead scored by Philip BURROWS. They were even able to extend their lead when Steven EDWARDS knocked on top of the ball and was able to pass a Spanish defender this way. Afterwards he finished with the reverse stick. Now Spain seemed to have woken up and cut the lead in half. Ramon ALEGRE deflected a penalty corner shot of Pau QUEMADA into the goal. The equaliser came with a penalty corner won five seconds before the final whistle. Miquel DELAS smashed in the third attempt and secured at least one point for his team.

Spain v New Zealand 4-4 (2-2)
1-0 15’ Roc OLIVA (PC)
1-1 19’ Nicholas WILSON (FG)
2-1 32’ Santi FREIXA (FG)
2-2 35’ Simon CHILD (FG)
2-3 44’ Philip BURROWS (FG)
2-4 55’ Steven EDWARDS (FG)
3-4 56’ Ramon ALEGRE (PC)
4-4 70+’ Miquel DELAS (PC)

England take their first victory in this Champions Trophy
England beat the Dutchmen with 4-3. The victory make them handing over the last rank in the table to the Dutch who have already lost their third game.

The match started off with a spectacular scene: Richard ALEXANDER finished a run with a reverse stick cross which goes parallel to the goal-line. Although there is nobody in close by Wouter JOLIE wanted to trap the ball but deflected it accidentally into his own goal. Rogier HOFMAN were able to equalise for the Dutch but England grabbed the lead again soon after. Adam DIXON found Simon MANTELL in the circle whose shot appeared harmless. But it somehow passed goalie Jaap STOCKMANN.

Holland tied the score after HOFMAN and Robbert KEMPERMAN linked well with Jeroen HERTZBERGER who finished the attack successfully. Mink van der WEERDEN brought the Netherlands in front the first time in this match when he flicked in a penalty corner before halftime. Jonty CLARKE equalised for England. Netherlands called the video umpire to check the situation but the goal stayed. Richard ALEXANDER brought England back in front in 63rd minute. The Dutchmen were not able to strike back again and lost this game although they were the more creative team most of the time.

England v Netherlands 3-4 (2-3)
1-0 3’ Richard ALEXANDER (FG)
1-1 7’ Rogier HOFMAN (FG)
2-1 18’ Simon MANTELL (FG)
2-2 20’ Jeroen HERTZBERGER (FG)
2-3 29’ Mink van der WEERDEN (PC)
3-3 57’ Jonty CLARKE (FG)
3-4 63’ Richard ALEXANDER (FG)

Kookaburras defeat Germany and take group victory
Australia beat Germany 3-1 and qualify for Sunday’s final as group champion.

Australia already knew before this match that they would definitely play in Sunday’s final because there was only one team who could have still caught them: Germany. Today, it was the first time that the unbeaten Kookaburras went 0-1 down in this Champions Trophy. Martin HÄNER flicked in a penalty corner in the 23rd minute.

Australia replied still in the first half. Desmond ABBOTT who will play for Alster Hamburg in Germany next year made German goalie Max WEINHOLD look very unhappy at his equaliser. ABBOTT’s next goal was even more spectacular when he scored without facing the goal. Jamie DWYER extended the lead in the 56th minute - he left WEINHOLD without a single chance. Germany had enough chances to score but they missed eight penalty corners for instance. At the end Australia were the more effective team today. They are close to win all five group games a mark they reached the last time in 1997.

Germany v Australia 1-3 (1-1)
1-0 23’ Martin HÄNER (PC)
1-1 30’ Desmond ABBOTT (FG)
1-2 47’ Desmond ABBOTT (FG)
1-3 57’ Jamie DWYER (FG)

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