Kookaburras clean up India

18 June 2006

Four-time Sultan Azlan Shah Cup champions Australia started their campaign Sunday with a convincing 4-1 win over India.

The reigning Olympic champions scored two goals in each half of the Group A match to take full points.

India had their first good look at goal when Rajpal Singh missed an open chance after being put through by Tushar Khandkar.

But the Australians used their speed to break through and scored in the seventh minute when Troy Elder pounced on a rebound from Brent Livermore. The Aussies kept up the attack and in the 11th minute, Matt Naylor scored off a field attempt from close range.

It was only in the 22nd minute that the Indians scored, when Tejbir Singh neatly finished after a clearance from defence. The second half started with both teams pushing hard. The pace slowed after rain began to fall, but Naylor found ample space in the 41st minute to score again.

After a 15-minute stoppage due to heavy rain, the game resumed with the Australians in control. In the 62nd minute, the Aussies earned their third penalty corner with Luke Doerner scoring with a direct drag flick to complete a 4-1 win.

Australian coach Barry Dancer said he was satisfied with the scoreline.

"We played well enough to create good scoring chances. We have had two good practice matches prior to the tournament, and as such we were in a good frame of mind for the game," he said.

"Our objective is to keep to our playing structure and at the same time ensure that some of the new players in the team fit into our style," he said.

AFP

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