Thursday, March 20, 2014

23rd Sultan Azlan Shah Cup: Australia crush Korea 5-1, storm into final



Defending champions Australia swamped Korea 5-1 to seal their final berth after they chalked up their fourth consecutive win in the 23rd Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh on Thursday. The Kookaburras shot into the lead through Trent Milton in the 10th minute but Korea were kept in the contest by Jang Jong Hyun, who converted a penalty corner in the 32nd minute – it was the first goal Australia had conceded in the tournament.

The Korean fightback was shortlived as Nicholas Budgeon scored at the stroke of half-time to give the Aussies a one-goal advantage at the break. Jeremy Hayward made it 3-1 in the 59th minute before Matt Ghodes struck twice in the closing stages to give Australia a facile 5-1 win.

Australia had earlier beaten China 7-0, Canada 6-0 and South Africa 7-0, notching up as many as 25 goals in four games leaking only one yesterday. Australia are already assured of a final berth and look set to play hosts Malaysia in a repeat of last year’s edition.

Earlier, Canada notched up their first win in the 23rd Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament sneaking past fighting China 4-3 in Ipoh on Thursday.

Hudson Stewart gave Canada the lead in the opening minute of play before China restored parity two minutes later through Guo Xiaoping. Canada regained the lead again through Hudson Stewart in the 15th minute before Gordon Johnson made the most of a penalty corner to enable his side go into half-time with a cozy 3-1 lead.


Trailing 1-3 at the break, China came out all guns blazing and narrowed the lead when Huang Yue rattled the Canadian cage in the 46th minute. The Chinese fightback look more pronounced when Du Talake converted a short corner to make the scoreline 3-3 with eleven minutes remaining for the final hooter.


The match could have gone either way, but Canada had the last laugh when Iain Smythe produced the match-clincher in the 64th minute.

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