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Kookaburras dominate Pakistan

7 August 2012

HOCKEY: The Kookaburras will enter the semi finals full of confidence after an impressive win over Pakistan 7-0.

The win sees them finish on top of the pool and means they are yet to lose a game at the tournament.

The win goes some way of putting behind their last two performances in which they blew a 2-0 lead over Argentina and a 3-0 lead over Great Britain, with both games ending in draws.

The signs were all positive for the Kookaburras, with their sublime skills and quick passing again visible.

The Kookaburras were able to make the perfect start to the match, scoring in the 4th minutes thanks to Liam De Young from a penalty corner. The initial shot was taken by Chris Ciriello and saved by the keeper, with De Young making the most of the rebound.

Things continued to improve for the Kookaburras when they received a penalty stroke after Matthew Butturini was deliberately infringed in the circle. Mark Knowles made no mistake from the stroke, making it 2-0.

The Kookaburras looked back to their usual selves making clean passes and traps to generate several scoring opportunities and keep the pressure applied onto Pakistan.

Pakistan managed to steady the ship slightly, however the Kookaburras defence held firm and denied any genuine chances.

The Kookaburras were given a scare when Jamie Dwyer went down holding his shoulder after a knock off the ball, however he recovered and played out the half.

After scoring only one goal so far in the tournament, finally The Big Dog Chris Ciriello had a reason to smile, delivering an extremely powerful flick on goal from a penalty corner to make it 3-0.

Ciriello wasn’t done with just yet, scoring his second goal from the top of the circle just on half time to make it 4-0.

The Kookaburras were given a chance to extend their lead in the first 30 seconds after half time when they were awarded a penalty corner, however the shot by Ciriello was high.

However they were quick to make amends, with Russell Ford hitting a brilliant shot after beating his opponent to make it 5-0.

They weren’t done with yet, with Jamie Dwyer showing exactly why he is regarded as the best in the world, trapping the ball and delivering a deadly shot into the back of the goal.

Glenn Turner delivered the final blow following a brilliant play involving Matthew Butturini and Eddie Ockenden to make it 7-0 and send a warning sign that the Kookaburras are back in form and ensure Fergus Kavanagh’s 150th match was well celebrated.

They will now play arch rivals Germany in the semi final on Thursday. A win will see them progress to the gold medal match on Saturday.

“I’m very pleased with the result. I would have been happy with a draw but it doesn’t matter now we are in the semis now and we have to play Germany so we have a task ahead of us, and we are well aware of that.  But today confirmed our place in the semis so I’m pleased about that,” said Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth.

Shaun Anderson in London

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