Monday, June 30, 2008

Australia win ninth Champion's Trophy

Australia claimed the 2008 WorldHockey Champions trophy in Rotterdam yesterday against Spain, with WorldHockey player of the Year Jamie Dwyer the key player. They prevailed 4-1 to claim their ninth ever Champions Trophy title, tying Germany for most titles won.

Australia started in great fashion, scoring in the fifth minute through Desmond Abbott who batted home a rebound off the crossbar. Xavi Ribas equalized for Spain soon after with a powerful dragflick that Stephen Lambert got his stick to but could not keep out. It stayed that way until the break despite a fast-paced game with plenty of opportunities.

Australia tipped the balance in their favour with a Dwyer penalty stroke in the 52nd minute. As Spain sought an equalizer, they left themselves open at the back in the final ten minutes.

Eddie Ockenden finished a Kiel Brown - who plays with Peter Blakeney in Perth - cross of with a hard hit into the backboard and Eli Matheson sunk a reverse in the final minute.

Earlier in the day, Argentina had taken third place from the hosts, the Netherlands, on penalty strokes after a 2-2 draw and Germany had defeated Korea 3-1 to take fifth place.

Individual awards were handed to Juan Manuel Vivaldi of Argentina as Best Goalkeeper, Florian Keller of Germany as Top Scorer, Eddie Ockenden of Australia as Most Promising Young Player and Jamie Dwyer, also of Australia, as Best Player of the Tournament. The Fair Play Trophy was awarded to Spain .

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