Following Sunday's washout, the delayed second day of action at the Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy in Auckland produced some truly top class hockey, with reigning champions Australia and The Netherlands in outstanding form.
Pool A leaders Australia stormed to a 4-1 win over Great Britain while the Dutch defeated perennial rivals Germany 2-1 to top Pool B. Spain and host nation New Zealand were also winners on Day 2, who routed Korea 6-1 to thrill the home fans.
More information about the matches can be found below.
Kookaburras hit form with victory over Great Britain
Great Britain 1-4 Australia
World number 1 ranked Australia were back to their brilliant best in the first match of Day 2 here at the Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy, cruising to a 4-1 victory over Great Britain. Goals from Matthew Butturini, Matt Gohdes, Jamie Dwyer and Luke Doerner gave the Kookaburras a win in a match that was delayed 24 hours due to rain. The victory ensures that they will stay top of Pool A regardless of what happens in the later match between Spain and Pakistan.
Australia were very much in charge for long periods of a physical first half, with Great Britain being forced onto the back foot by the high pressing Kookaburras. The world number one tam had clearly come out with the intention of putting Saturday’s lacklustre victory over Spain well and truly behind them, and they were rewarded for their endeavour six minutes into the game when Matthew Butturini established a 1-0 lead. A superb, defence splitting pass from Fergus Kavanagh found the unmarked Butturini who managed to beat Great Britain keeper James Fair at his near post.
Great Britain had a great chance to pull themselves level midway through the half when evergreen attacker Mark Pearn worked his way into the Australian circle and won a penalty corner. However, the chance went begging when first Mark Gleghorne and then James Tindall failed to find a way past Kookaburras keeper George Bazeley.
The second Australian goal arrived in the 22nd minute following another spell of intense pressure on the Great Britain goal. Matt Gohdes was the scorer, drilling a low effort into the bottom left corner that gave Fair absolutely no chance of saving. The Kookaburras could easily have scored further goals in the dying stages of the half, with Jamie Dwyer and Eddie Ockenden both going close.
The second half was far more evenly contested, but it was the Aussies who created the clearest goal scoring opportunities in the early stages of the period and would surely have been further ahead were it not for some heroics from the outstanding James Fair.
With fifteen mintues to go, Great Britain pulled themselves back into the game Simon Mantell picked up the ball on the left before beating Australia defender Matthew Swann and firing home. However, it took Australia just two minutes to find a reply, with a diving Jamie Dwyer netting his third goal of the tournament from close range. Dwyer’s strike certainly knocked the wind out of the British sails, and the impressive Australians took control of the game once more. The result was put beyond doubt when Luke Doerner sent a penalty corner drag-flick into the goal with just two minutes of the match remaining.
The performance showed that Australia – winners of the last three FIH Champions Trophy tournaments – are very much firing on all cylinders once again, which could be ominous for the rest of the teams here in Auckland.
More information about this game can be found by clicking here.
Quemada double downs Pakistan
Spain 4-2 Pakistan
Penalty corner ace Pau Quemada was the hero of the hour as he helped Spain record a 4-2 victory over Pakistan. With the score locked at 2-2, Quemada found the target twice in eight minutes to give Spain their first win of the Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy following their defeat against Australia on Saturday. The win moves Spain up to second in the Pool A table, leap-frogging Great Britain – who they face on Tuesday – thanks to a superior goal difference.
It took Spain just three minutes to take the lead in the contest when Santi Freixa picked up a penalty corner rebound and ruthlessly slammed the ball into the Pakistan goal. However, Pakistan were level just before the ten minute mark when dazzling attacker Shakeel Abbasi punished some weak Spanish defending by squeezing the ball between the legs of goalkeeper Francisco Cortes.
Both sides were reduced to ten players in the 24th minute when umpire Murray Grime handed out yellow cards to Spain’s Roc Oliva and Waseem Ahmed of Pakistan for an ugly looking clash. Just a minute after the incident, Spain re-established their advantage thanks to Jorge Dabanch who made space for himself with a superb first touch before cracking home on his reverse stick. Shakeel Abbasi went close to tying the scores moments before half time, but his diving deflection travelled just wide of the target.
World record goal scorer Sohail Abbas produced a moment of magic from a penalty corner six minutes into the second half to restore parity. The 36-year-old stepped up to the mark and sent a flick rocketing into the roof of the net, giving Spanish keeper Cortes absolutely no chance of saving. However, Abbas was to be outdone on the day by Spain’s very own penalty corner specialist, Pau Quemada. The Belgium based Spaniard put his team back in front in the 57th minute with an accurate flick, before adding his second and Spain’s fourth with another set piece effort five minutes from the end of the game.
Pakistan rallied towards the end of the game but were thwarted by a Spanish side that was determined to claim all three points.
More information about this match can be found by clicking here.
Hofman strikes late to sink Germany
Netherlands 3-2 Germany
A brilliant goal from Rogier Hofman gave The Netherlands a superb win over Olympic and European Champions Germany in the third match day 2 here in Auckland. With the scores locked at 2-2 with five minutes of the match remaining, Hofman picked up the ball down the left before surging into the circle, playing exchanging passes with a team-mate and forcing home from close range.
It was The Netherlands’ fifth successive victory against Germany in the Men’s Champions Trophy, having not lost to their opponents in their last nine meetings. The win puts The Netherlands clear at the top of Pool B, a position that they will have overnight regardless of the result between Korea and New Zealand.
The was nothing to choose between the two European giants in the first half, with both sides enjoying good possession and creating numerous scoring opportunities. Teun de Nooijer set up the first goal with an accurate pass to Dutch number 28 Billy Bakker who made no mistake with his shot to give The Netherlands the lead after 12 minutes. Germany’s own number 28 Tobias Matania soon tied things up with a cracking reverse stick strike before Thilo Stralkowski brilliantly created a goal for Christoph Menke to give Germany a 2-1 lead. Shortly before the break, Jeroen Hertzberger pulled The Netherlands level when he cut inside his marker and crashed a reverse stick shot between the legs of Germany keeper Max Weinhold.
The second half was far more one sided, as the Dutch forced the Olympic champions deep into their own territory. Netherlands forward Valentin Verga almost scored when he moved past the keeper but failed to get his shot on target before numerous Dutch penalty corner chances went begging. Eventually though, the German resistance faltered when Hofman produced his moment of magic to give The Netherlands an excellent and deserved triumph.
More information about this match can be found by clicking here.
Korea hit for six by New Zealand
Korea 1-6 New Zealand
The Black Sticks got their Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy campaign back on track with a stunning 6-1 win over Korea, a team ranked one place above them in the FIH World Rankings. Shea McAleese (2), Phil Burrows, Nick Wilson, Shay Neal and Andrew Hayward were all on target as New Zealand gave their many fans in the stadium plenty to feel happy about.
Despite the score-line, Korea were far from outplayed in the game, being denied on numerous occasions by some fantastic goalkeeping from New Zealand’s Kyle Pontifex. However, few can dispute that the host nation were worthy winners of this contest.
New Zealand will qualify for Pool C (the Championship Pool) if they defeat The Netherlands on Tuesday, while Korea are now certain to in Pool D and where they will play for 5-8.
The first half was played at breakneck speed, with play moving quickly from one end of the field to the other. Both sides had great chances to score ahead of Shea McAleese’s 25th minute open play strike which found the bottom right corner from the top of the circle. Korea were level two minutes from the end of the half through Kwang Jin Kim finished off from close range moments after Phil Burrows had been robbed of possession in the Korean half. Burrows made amends for his error just a minute late when he bundled the ball home before wheeling away in celebration, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Conceding just before half time was a big blow for Korea, and their misery was compounded when McAleese made the score 4-1 with his second of the game just one minute after the re-start. 2010 FIH young Player of the Year nominee Nick Wilson was the creator, and it was he who soon added the fourth with a well taken reverse stick shot in the 52nd minute. Korea battled hard to find a way back into the match, but New Zealand keeper Kyle Pontifex was in superb form and denied at least three clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities to maintain his team’s lead.
The result was put beyond all doubt when Shay Neal chipped in a field goal to make the score 5-1 before the scoring was completed by a cracking penalty corner flick from Andy Hayward.
For more information on the match please click here.
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