MALAYSIA: Reigning world champions Australia clobbered India 4-0 to clinch the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Saturday.
As the powerhouse eyes the top-spot on the podium at the Rio Games this summer. The Kookaburras kicked off the final against seventh-ranked India with fast attacks and strong defence to the delight of the spectators in Malayia’s Ipoh.
Both teams rallied for an early goal but failed to earn a shot at the back of the net.The Kookaburras put pressure on the Indian defence and secured an inaccessible 3-0 lead by the end of the third-quarter break.
Just before half-time, 20-year-old Thomas Craig put Australia ahead, by taking a crack at the left side of the Indian net leaving goalie Akash Chitke helpless.
Craig was in action again in the 35th minute. Matt Ghodes scored the other two goals including one on the reverse stick which saw the ball sail past the leg of the Indian goalkeeper. India cruised into the final after defeating Malaysia 6-1 earlier in the week and edging out New Zealand.
However, Australia ended the tournament with the maximum 18 points from six matches, while India earned 12 points and New Zealand finished with 11. Australia has won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup a record nine times.
Meanwhile, defending champions New Zealand defeated hosts Malaysia for the bronze medal in a 5-4 penalty shootout. In the day’s other action, Pakistan outclassed Canada for fifth place with a 3-1 victory. The Australian men’s team has won nine medals, including one gold in 2004, at the Olympic Games.
Results from the final day of the seven-nation Sultan Azlan Shah Cup field hockey tournament in Ipoh, north of Malaysia, on Saturday:
Final 1-2 positions: Australia 4 (Craig Thomas 25, 35, Matt Gohdes 43, 57) India 0 Classification matches 3-4 positions: New Zealand 3 Malaysia 3 (5-4 on shootout) New Zealand 3 (Hayden Phillips 27, Kane Russell 43, 59) Malaysia 3 (Ramadan Rosli 7, Fitri Saari 11, Shahril Saabah 43) 5-6 positions: Pakistan 3 (Fareed Ahmed 11, Ajaz Ahmad 27, Muhammad Arshad 57) Canada 1 (Iain Smythe 51).