Australia and The Netherlands were the respective winners of Pools A and B after a sensational day of action at the Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy.
The Kookaburras continued their wonderful form by thrashing Pakistan 6-1 to win Pool A, with Jamie Dwyer netting a hat-trick. They were joined in Pool C by Spain, who thumped Great Britain 8-1.
The Netherlands won Pool B thanks to a 3-3 draw with host nation New Zealand, a result which sealed a place in Pool C for the Black Sticks. New Zealand fought back from 3-0 down to tie the scores, putting them in the Championship Pool ahead of Germany.
More information about the matches can be found below.
Super Spain destroy Great Britain
Spain 8-1 Great Britain
Santi Freixa and Roc Oliva both scored twice as Spain produced a simply sensational performance to defeat Great Britain 8-1 in their final match of Pool A. It was a magnificent display from the Spanish, who came back from 1-0 down to score four times in either half to seal their place in Pool C, which keeps alive their hopes of winning the Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy. Great Britain will now play in for 5-8 in Pool D.
Despite a couple of early Spanish chances, the early stages of the game were dominated by Great Britain, who pressured the circle but failed to create clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities. It was the Brits who opened the match scoring midway through the half when Barry Middleton was on hand to force home a penalty corner rebound from close range following a from Ashley Jackson.
Conceding the goal only served to inspire the Spanish, who hit back almost immediately when a completely unmarked Edi Tubau received the ball in front of goal before calmly slotting past Great Britain keeper George Pinner, who was making his Champions Trophy debut. Incredibly, Spain then hit two more goals in quick succession as the normally solid Great Britain defence was undone by the movement of the lightning quick Spanish forwards. Pau Quemada drilled home Spain’s second before team captain Santi Freixa exploded into the Great Britain circle before producing a stunning shot which rattled into the goal off the left post.
Spain’s fourth goal arrived five minutes before half time and confirmed that luck was very much against the British, as Gabriel Dabanch’s push shot bounced back off the post before hitting GB keeper Pinner and rolling over the goal-line.
The Spanish forwards continued to terrorize the British defensive line in the early stages of the second half, with Freixa and Tubau in particular proving too hot to handle. A fifth goal soon arrived, and it was defender Juan Fernandez who slid in to slap home a loose ball from the right in the 44th minute.
Great Britain saw good second half chances go begging through Glenn Kirkham and Mark Gleghorne, but Spain were far more clinical with their chances as Santi Freixa netted a sixth before Roc Oliva produced a marvellous finish from an glorious Edi Tubau pass. Oliva completed the scoring with a blistering penalty corner flick in the final minute, giving Spain a magnificent victory which secures their place in Pool C where they will compete for the 1-4 places.
Korea and Germany share the spoils
Korea 3-3 Germany
Korea fought back from 2-0 down to take a share of the points against Germany, but it was not enough to keep alive their hopes of winning the Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy. Germany lead 2-0 at half time thanks to goals from Florian Fuchs and Jan-Marco Montag, but Korea rattled in three goals through Hyo Sik You, Young Jin Kim and Jong Ho Seo to put them in a strong position. However, Germany found an equaliser with three minutes of the match remaining, with Thilo Stralkowski tapping in following a great pass from Benjamin Wess.
The result means that Germany will only progress to Pool C – the Championship Pool – if The Netherlands beat home favourites New Zealand in the final match of the day here in Auckland. For Korea, the result means that they are certain to play in for the 5-8 positions in Pool D.
A fairly drab first half came to life in the 31st minute when Christopher Wesley fired a pass from the left across the face of goal to Florian Fuchs, who made no mistake with a close range finish. Fuchs was today named in the shortlist for the 2011 FIH Young Player of the Year Award, and showed exactly why with a typical poachers goal. Jan-Marco Montag fired home Germany’s second goal from the top of the circle just ahead of half time.
Korea started the second half with a spring in their step, determined to fight their way back into the contest. In the 48th minute their hard work was rewarded when Hyo Sik You dived in at the far post to pull a goal back.
Eight minutes later the Asians were level through Young Jin Kim’s field goal and almost took the lead in the 62nd minute when a penalty corner flick hit the left post of the Germany goal. Korea moved ahead in the 64thminute thanks to a wonderful strike from Jong Ho Seo, who surged into the circle on the right before unleashing a rocket of a shot into the bottom corner.
However, Germany got a share of the spoils two minutes later thanks to Thilo Stralkowski, who put the ball into an open goal following excellent work from Benjamin Wess down the left.
Dwyer hits hat-trick as Australia thrash Pakistan
Australia 6-1 Pakistan
Australia made it three wins out of three with their biggest ever Champions Trophy victory over Pakistan here on day three at the Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy. 2011 FIH Player of the Year nominees Jamie Dwyer and Eddie Ockenden were amongst the scorers, with Dwyer helping himself to a hat-trick to take his tournament tally to six. The Kookaburras will go into next phase as winners of Pool A, and will take some stopping in the Championship stages.
Dwyer opened the scoring the 22nd minute of the match when his speculative cross within the circle was inadvertently diverted into his own net by Pakistan keeper Salman Akbar. Their advantage was doubled four minutes from the end of the half when Eddie Ockenden lashed home a powerful reverse stick effort to provide some breathing space.
Australia blasted out of the blocks in the second half, laying siege to the Pakistan goal. Luke Doerner brought a good save from Akbar from a penalty corner, but when a second was awarded Doerner sent his effort just inside the right post to give Australia a 3-0 lead. Jamie Dwyer then claimed his second of the game with a sublime touch on a cross from the left before completing his hat-trick was a calm finish from close range. Mark Patterson crashed home a sixth from a tight angle before Pakistan scored a consolation goal in the 6th minute thanks to a penalty corner from Muhammad Zubair.
New Zealand secure qualification to Pool C
The Netherlands 3-3 New Zealand
New Zealand fought back from 3-0 down to claim a memorable draw with The Netherlands, a result which put both teams through to Pool C, the Championship Pool.
The Black Sticks fans turned up in their droves to North Harbour hockey stadium hoping that they would see their team book their place in the Championship Pool, and got exactly what they wanted in the most dramatic style. New Zealand found themselves 3-0 down early in the second half, but produced a epic fight-back that will live long in the memory of everyone who saw it. Goals from Blair Hilton, Phil Burrows and a dramatic penalty stroke from captain Dean Couzins two minutes from the end gave New Zealand the draw that they needed to progress into Pool C.
The Netherlands were superb in the first half and silence the home crowd with two incredible goals. FIH Young Player of the Year nominee Billy Bakker turned his marker inside out before cracking home a powerful reverse stick shot in the 28th minute before Jeroen Hertzberger doubled the advantage a minute later with a ferocious drive into the top corner of Kyle Pontifex’s net.
Penalty corner ace Taeke Taekema made the score 3-0 in the 48th minute with a typically accurate flick before New Zealand began their incredible fight-back. A wonderful pass from Ryan Archibald picked out Blair Hilton who scored New Zealand’s first in the 53rd minute before Phil Burrows tapped home a second two minutes later.
New Zealand fought for their lives in the last fifteen minutes of the match, and even resorted to bringing on a kicking back in place of goalkeeper Pontifex. Incredibly, the tactic worked as the extra man allowed New Zealand to overload their Dutch opponents. The key moment arrived when Simon Child found a Dutch foot on the goal-line, with a penalty corner being upgraded to a penalty flick following an excellent video referral. Team captain Dean Couzins emphatically slammed the ball into the net to send the home crowd into raptures. It was a very special moment for the Black Sticks, who will now get the chance to fight for the title along with Australia, Spain, and The Netherlands.
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