Australia men matched the achievement of their female compatriots by claiming the Commonwealth Gold medal with a breathtaking 8-0 win over host nation India. The match brought the curtain down on a tournament that witnessed huge crowds, great drama and exceptional hockey.
Following the women's Gold medal victory over New Zealand on Wednesday, Ric CHARLESWORTH's men showed exactly why they are the world's best hockey team with a dazzling display of attacking hockey.
Jason WILSON (2), Chris CIRIELLO, Luke DOERNER (2), Simon ORCHARD, Jamie DWYER and Glenn TURNER all netted as Australia showed typically ruthless finishing. India were not without their chances in the game, but the Kookaburras outstanding defence continued to show the kind of form which has seen them concede just four times during the entire tournament. Australia's success marks the end of a remarkable year which saw the team claim Gold in the Champions Trophy, the World Cup and now the Commonwealth Games.
In the post-match press conference, Australia coach Ric CHARLESWORTH spoke about the performance of his team. “We played well enough to break open the game and outrun them for 70 minutes. We have a way of playing that means that we create more goals even with a lead. We want to defend well, too. Our defensive record is good, with only four goals in six matches.”
Although exceptionally disappointed, India coach Jose BRASA accepted that his team had been beaten by a superior team. “We’re very sad with the result. But to be second in the world after Australia is a good result. Australia are much better than any other team in the tournament. They score six in the semi, eight in the final, and they won the Champions Trophy and won the World Cup here, so they made it clear they’re two or three steps ahead of the others. We’re happy to be second to them.”
Despite the disappointment of the final, it is clear from their performances at the Commonwealth Games that India are a side very much on the up, capable of hurting some of the very best teams in the world. The future is once again looking bright for this great hockey nation.
Earlier in the day, England suffered a second penalty strokes defeat in succession as they were beaten to the Bronze medal by New Zealand. More information about both matches can be found below.
Men’s Gold medal match: Australia 8 - 0 India
World champions Australia continued its golden run and bagged a fourth successive Gold in the Commonwealth Games after defeating hosts India 8-0.
India opened the match in attacking style, as it did in their Pool A match, but it was the Australians who opened the scoring through Jason WILSON (AUS) in the 19th minute.
After a penalty corner conversion from Chris CIRIELLO (AUS), WILSON bagged his second to stretch the Australian lead to three.
Luke DOERNER (AUS), who tied for most goals in the tournament with eight, scored on either side of halftime to make it 5-0.
Simon ORCHARD, Jamie DWYER and Glenn TURNER (AUS) each added a goal to ensure an emphatic win for Australia.
The Silver medal is India’s best result in a Commonwealth Games Hockey tournament.
Men’s Bronze medal match: New Zealand 3-3 England
[New Zealand win 5-3 on penalites]
The Black Sticks of New Zealand took the Bronze after a hat-trick by England's Simon MANTELL forced a penalty shoot-out at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Thursday.
New Zealand built a 3-1 lead through a goal from Nick HAIG (NZL) and penalty strokes from Dean COUZINS (NZL) and Hayden SHAW (NZL). However England clawed back through Simon MANTELL, who scored twice in the final 15 minutes of regulation time to draw even.
After a scoreless extra time, in which England created most of the chances, the teams lined up for penalty strokes.
COUZINS and Phil BURROWS (NZL) successfully flicked New Zealand’s first two corners into the bottom left corner of the goal, while Richard SMITH (ENG) and Richard MANTELL (ENG) converted England’s first two chances.
SHAW then flicked his effort into the top left corner to give New Zealand a 3-2 advantage before the attempt by Adam DIXON (ENG) was saved by a lunging Kyle PONTIFEX (NZL).
New Zealand’s final two flickers, Andrew HAYWARD (NZL) and Shea MCALEESE (NZL), both converted to earn New Zealand the Bronze.
It was England’s second loss in a penalty shoot-out in three days, after being bettered in the semifinal by India on Tuesday.
All official tournament information including match sheets, starting line-ups, tables and scorers can be found on the Commonwealth Games Results Website by clicking here.
Source material: Commonwealth Games News Service
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