KOOKABURRAS REMAIN PERFECT AT AZLAN SHAH CUP

Tuesday 6 March 2018 | The Kookaburras have maintained their perfect record and remain top of the standings at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup after a 4-2 victory over India in Ipoh, Malaysia on Tuesday night.

Australia piled on three goals in the third quarter after captain Mark Knowles, who will retire after the upcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, scored the only goal of a tight first half from a penalty stroke in the 28th minute.

Aran Zalewski (35’), Daniel Beale (41’) and Blake Govers (43’) all hit the scoresheet in a dominant third term as Australia capitalised on their numerical advantage after Amit Rohidas’ 39th minute yellow card.

India grabbed two goals in the final quarter via Ramandeep Singh to ensure Australia couldn’t relax, but the Kookaburras did enough.

The result means Australia have claimed three wins from three matches and are on track to qualify for Saturday’s final.

The victory was also another positive sign for the Kookaburras ahead of the Commonwealth Games, having now beaten England, Malaysia and India who will all be contenders on the Gold Coast.

Australia won the key statistics with 11 shots to six, 59 per cent possession in the opposition half and more penalty corners, of which they converted one from four.

Beale had the first chance of the game inside the opening two minutes but was well saved by India goalkeeper Krishan Pathak.

India had two decent opportunities of their own before quarter-time but Kookas keeper Andrew Charter was too good on both occasions.

Chances were few and far between in the second term before Australia won a penalty stroke when Beale’s goalbound shot hit Mandeep Mor’s boot on the line. Knowles stepped up and fired to Pathak’s right for his 30th international goal.

Australia dominated the third quarter with Zalewski converting Dylan Wotherspoon’s cutback, before Rohidas was yellow carded for repeated fouls.

Beale capitalised when he poked home from close range at the second attempt, with Govers also converting with a second bite of the cherry from a penalty corner.

Ramandeep ensured it remained tense, with his cutback deflected in off Jeremy Edwards, before lashing in a powerful reverse stick finish to make it 4-2.

The Kookaburras are next in action on Wednesday against Ireland from 7pm AEDT live on Fox Sports.

Australia 4 (Knowles 28’, Zalewski 35’, Beale 41’, Govers 43’)

India 2 (Ramandeep 52’, 53’)

Hockey Australia | PMF Sports Images
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