Australia have made history by becoming the first team to win four FIH Champions Trophy tournaments in succession following a 1-0 win over Spain in the Gold medal game of the Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy.
Eddie Ockenden was in the right place at the right time to force home a penalty corner rebound eleven minutes from the end of the game, giving the mighty Kookaburras a stunning success in Auckland, New Zealand.
The match was an incredibly close contest, with both sides enjoying periods of domination. Spain arguably had the better of the first half and could easily have been ahead when Roc Oliva and David Alegre saw their efforts miss the target. Newly-crowned FIH Young Player of the Year Matthew Swann also produced an outstanding tackle on Spain's Edi Tubau just was the striker was about to shoot in the dying moments of the first half.
Tempers began to flare at the start of the second half, causing umpire Hamish Jamson to inform team captains Jamie Dwyer and Santi Freixa that their sides need to cool it. As the match progressed, the world champions began to assert their authority and went close to opening the scoring through Timothy Deavin and Jason Wilson, but the outstanding Spanish defence held firm.
In the 59th minute, Australia scored the crucial goal from a penalty corner, with Eddie Ockenden following up to volley home moments after Spain keeper Francisco Cortes saved Luke Doerner's flicked effort from the top of the circle. Although the Spanish rallied hard towards the end, the all-conquering Australians closed the game out to add yet another trophy to their ever growing collection.
"It was a typical final," said Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth in the post match press conference. " It was very tough. We played much better than our first game against Spain, which was good. The one or two chances that Spain had came from our errors so if we can iron them out we will be a very tough team to beat."
Five time FIH Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer was also pleased with the performance of his team. "I'm very proud to win it again ... Spain came here with a point to prove after the disappointment of the Euros and did just that so we are very happy to win."
Spain captain Santi Freixa was quick to congratulate Australia on their win, but was also keen to state his feelings about his team's return to form here in Auckland. "We are all very proud of ourselves", said Freixa, who was named as the Player of the Tournament. "They finished first and we finished second but we are so proud about what we achieved here."
Bronze: The Netherlands
4th: New Zealand
6th: Great Britain
Best player: Santi Freixa (ESP)
Top Scorer: Jamie Dwyer (AUS) - 7 Goals
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Kyle Pontifex (NZL)
Fair play: Australia
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