Champions Trophy: Aus book place in final

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:49 IST

Australia beat the Netherlands 3-2 in the Champions Trophy in Chennai to become the first team to clinch a place in the final of the competition.

Champions Trophy: Aus book place in final

Chennai:

Australia beat the Netherlands 3-2 in the Champions Trophy in Chennai on Wednesday to become the first team to clinch a place in the final of the competition. It was the fourth successive victory for the Australians, who now lead the standings on 12 points, five points ahead of the Netherlands and six ahead of third-placed Spain. Matt Naylor opened Australia's scoring in the 12th minute, capping a fine run down the left flank with a stinging shot into the boards. Dutch reply The Dutch, though, hit right back and were level within eight minutes. The dangerous Taeke Taekema converted the first Dutch penalty corner in the 20th minute to even matters. Yet again, Australia went in front, matching Taekema's penalty corner effort. This time it was Andrew Smith who produced a near-perfect drag-flick to send the ball into the top right-hand corner of the goal in the 27th minute. That gave Australia a 2-1 halftime lead, but the Dutch were soon level again after the break. Taekema stepped up again to slam the boards with a low flick on the Netherlands' second penalty corner in the 42nd minute. Brilliant goal The match was heading for a draw until Michael McCann scored a brilliant goal in the 68th minute. After a crucial interception in midfield, McCann latched on to a through-ball at the top of the scoring zone and his reverse-stick effort nestled nicely in the bottom left-hand corner of the Dutch goal. It ended 3-2 in favour of the Australians who still top the standings and are assured of a place in the final of the competition. In the day's remaining matches, Germany beat India 1-0, while the Spanish saw off Pakistan 4-2. (AP)

Topics : Hockey Australia
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