南京夜网

Fightback lifts Kookas to gold

The Kookaburras’ ability to conjure big-match wins against the odds sealed a record 10th Champions Trophy men’s hockey title on Sunday with an extraordinary fightback to sink world and Olympic champions Germany.Trailing 3-1 at halftime in the final, Australia launched a relentless second half effort to win 5-3, lifting every aspect of their game after crucial first half lapses.Three goals in the opening 15 minutes of the second half – two of them penalty corner flicks from Luke Doerner – stunned the Germans and ensured the Kookaburras back-to-back gold medals in the tournament for the world’s top six nations in Melbourne.Experienced defender Mark Knowles paid tribute to his side’s self-belief for getting them out of trouble.It was a trait which came to the fore with different personnel at the 2004 Olympics and 2006 Commonwealth Games, but appears to beat just as strongly in the heart of the new Kookaburras.”We know we’re young, we’ve been training hard for this, done plenty of fitness work, so we thought if we could get an early (second half) goal we’d be right back in it,” Knowles said.”We stuck in there, and that little bit of pressure really helped.”It takes a long time to break very good teams down and it’s a credit to the playing group and the coaching staff.”But there’s a belief in the team we can win from any situation.”Australia started superbly and had the lead inside two minutes when striker Des Abbott found the net.Then the Germans hit back midway through the half with three goals in 11 minutes.First Florian Fuchs found the net, before a Martin Haner drag flick and another to Matthias Witthaus from open play gave them what appeared a stranglehold on the match.But with newly-crowned world player of the year Jamie Dwyer outstanding, the Kookaburras powered back in the second half and started to convert the penalty corners which were wasted in the first.First Liam de Young tapped in, before Doerner found his range with a drag flick on 41 minutes to bring his side level.Nine minutes later, Australia had snatched back the lead when Doerner was on target again.The Kookaburras finished off Germany with three minutes remaining, when Fergus Kavanagh latched on to a long Doerner pass and flipped the bouncing ball up over keeper Max Weinhold’s head to delight the 5,000-plus crowd at the State Hockey Centre.To cap their tournament, striker Grant Schubert was named the Champions Trophy’s best player and he and Luke Doerner shared leading scorer’s honours with six goals each.South Korea took the bronze medal, beating The Netherlands 4-2 in the third place playoff.Spain beat England 5-2 to secure fifth place.
Nanjing Night Net