The final day of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2014 saw Australia confirm their position as number 1 ranked team in the world. After getting through the round robin games without losing a game and only conceding 3 goals – while scoring 31 goals – the Kookaburras finished their campaign with an 8-3 victory over fellow World Cup nation Malaysia.
Hero for the Australian team was Chris Ciriello, who scored four goals, with Eddie Ockenden, Nick Budgeon, Matt Gohdes and Tristan White all getting on the scoresheet. Malaysia's goal-scorers were Shahril Saabah, Rashid Baharom and Fitri Saari.
Although there is still more than two and a half months to the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, the tournament results will have sent a signal through the hockey world as to Australia's intent.
While the team sheet for the Hague is slowly filling up, coach Ric Charlesworth said there is still plenty of opportunity for athletes to book their place on the plane. "We've got a dozen or so players at home who are still very much in contention. We've got seven weeks of hard training and it's very competitive for places."
In the other games to decide final placings, Korea beat China in an exciting 3-2 match; while Canada defeated South Africa 2-0.
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