Australia wins 6th Azlan Shah Cup Hockey
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Australia wins 6th Azlan Shah Cup Hockey

Ipoh : Malaysia | May 15, 2011 at 7:50 PM PDT
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Indian hockey team commended

AUSTRALIA defeated Pakistan in extra time to win the 20th Sultan Azlan Shah International Hockey Tournament through a Golden Goal 3-2 in the Finals at the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Stadium in Ipoh, Malaysia on Sunday. With today's victory, the World champions had now won the seven nation cup six times. In other matches, Great Britain won the Bronze defeating the New Zealand 4-2 while South Korea finished fifth defeating India 2-1 in the classification match. The hosts Malaysia finished at the bottom in the seven nation competition. A good sporting local crowd had turned up at the Stadium where both the Australians and Pakistanis fought a grim battle that went into the extra time and Australia finally prevailed through a Golden Goal. The Final was played at a very fast pace and the two sides made repeated attempts to wrest the initiative but it were the Kookaburas that shot into a one goal lead through a penalty corner conversion in the tenth minute by Christopher Crieilo. Pakistan retaliated and as a result a penalty corner was awarded and Sohail Abbas duly converted to bring the score at par through to the half time. After resumption, it were the Green Shirt stick expert that controlled the ball in the intitial stage and besides missing two penalty corners also missed a couple of sure chances. The Kookaburas were able to double their lead once they got hold of the ball and tenth minute into the resumption Glenn Turner scored the second goal. The one goal deficit saw the Pakistanis making some good moves and almost had scored the equaliser but each time they missed the opportunity and finally it brought them the relief when Rehan Butt dodged the defenders and beat the goalie. He sent the ball neatly into the net to bring it 2-2. The Australians resorted to some very rough play in between and still managed to get two successive penalty corners in the closing moments but couldn't avail and the final whistle saw both sides still without result. The first extra time was also evenly fought and both sides repeatedly ran into the other half but the defenders were well alert. It was in the second half that Christopher Crieilo finally sounded the board stunning the Pakistani custodian and his Golden Goal had brought another Azlan Shah Cup for the team, six altogether. Regardless of the defeat for the former champions Pakistan, the Asian stick experts played good hockey and had there been chances availed, there would have been a different result. The Kookaburas, on the other hand, proved even its inexperienced stick experts couldn't be taken easily and would be a challenge to all teams in the 2012 London Olympics.

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Australia beat Malaysia 2-1 in Ipoh on Saturday
Australia beat Malaysia 2-1 in Ipoh on Saturday
TASNEEM KHAN is based in Miami, Florida, United States of America, and is a Reporter for Allvoices.
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