Visit the FIH tournament website for the Sahara Hockey Champions Trophy
Home team Spain ignited the tournament on an absorbing day three at the men’s Sahara Hockey Champions Trophy in Terrassa.
Down by three goals after 22 minutes, Spain was irresistible in their brilliant win over defending champions Australia as four unanswered second half goals electrified the boisterous home crowd.
Led by penalty corner maestro Santi Freixa, whose three strikes were the backbone of the revival, Spain found the form that had been missing in their opening two matches of the tournament.
The victory vaulted the 2004 champions into second position on the ladder alongside Germany with matches against Pakistan and Netherlands to come before the classification round.
After looking like they were getting closer to discovering some of their magic of old, Pakistan succumbed meekly with a substandard defensive effort in a record loss to the Netherlands in the opening match of the day.
Pakistan’s worst loss at the Champions Trophy was balanced by the Netherlands’ best ever win as the Dutch did as they pleased in a match that fell one goal short of equalling the highest scoring Champions Trophy encounter of all time.
Unlike Spain, who were able to find reserves of determination and strength during their onslaught against Australia, Pakistan continued to haemorrhage goals in the second half despite looking slightly more threatening as the match progressed.
Ronald Brouwer notched four for the Netherlands as they took complete control of the match from the opening whistle, scoring after just 38 seconds to signal the avalanche of goals to come.
After the excitement and scoring spree of the opening two matches where 19 goals were scored, the final clash on day three returned to a more ‘normal’ pace, with Germany methodically breaking down Argentina to open a match-winning lead midway through the first half.
The win put Germany level on points with Spain with matches against the Netherlands and Spain to come.
Tomorrow is another rest day with match day four to be played on Thursday. The opening match will be between Germany and the Netherlands, followed by Spain against Pakistan. The final match on the round will be between Argentina and Australia.
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