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Kookaburras launch Spanish Inquisition

1 August 2012

HOCKEY: The Kookaburras have shown exactly why they are gold medal favourites at the 2012 London Olympics, smashing the highly regarded Spanish team 5-0 at Riverbank Arena.

The world number one team were on song from the opening play, generating two penalty corners within the first two minutes, however they were unable to score.

They continued to push and following a nice piece of play from Chris Ciriello where he kept a cool head, he managed to keep possession which allowed Mark Knowles to deliver a powerful pass into Russell Ford who gave Australia their first goal.

Looking sharp, the Kookaburras continued to do the hard things, diving for any loose ball and showing real desperation.

This hard work paid off when Matthew Butturini scored their second goal at the 21 minute mark.

After stopping Spain’s only shot on goal via a penalty corner, the Kookaburras looked likely to score again when Eddie Ockenden found space in the circle. However after beating the keeper his shot sailed into the right post.

They made amends only minutes later following a brilliant pass from Joel Carrol which found Matt Gohdes alone in the circle. His cross found an open Simon Orchard who made no mistake from right in front to make it 3-0 in the dying minutes of the half.

Things continued to go as planned for the Kookaburras and when Glenn Turner scored within the opening minutes after half time to make it 4-0, the game looked as good as over.

Spain did look more dangerous around goals in the second half, however goalkeeper Nathan Burgers was more than up to the challenge.
The Kookaburras continued to pepper the goals, with Matt Gohdes and Simon Orchard coming close on several occasions.

The final breakthrough came via a deflection from Eddie Ockenden, giving the Kookaburras their fifth goal and sealing the match.

Coach Ric Charlesworth said despite the win there was still improvement left in the team.

“I think there are a lot of things today that we weren’t happy with and we are constantly looking for more improvement. They (Spain) are a very good team and they have been unlucky to loss two of their most brilliant players. But overall I’m happy with our start, but there is a long way to go,” Charlesworth said.

Shaun Anderson in London
olympics.com.au

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