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Kookaburras defeat Malaysia in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

7 April 2015

HOCKEY: Two goals from Australia’s most capped player Jamie Dwyer and a last minute goal from Dylan Wotherspoon helped finish the Kookaburras atop of Malaysia 3-2 in their second pool match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Monday night.

A re-match of the 2014 Azlan Shah final, the Kookaburras - 2014 title winners - went head-to-head with the hosts and 2014 runners up, Malaysia, after Australia defeated them 8-3 in last year’s final.

It was a slow first half for the Kookaburras and Malaysia, with neither team able to convert their attacking opportunities to break onto the scoreboard.

Australia broke through the Malaysian defence in the 43rd minute, after Jamie Dwyer was awarded a penalty stroke due to unfair play in Australia’s attacking circle. Stepping up to the spot, Dwyer flicked the ball on-target and into the back of the net, pushing the Kookaburras in front, 1-0.

Following ten minutes later, Dwyer well positioned got a quick shot away, making it 2-0. Malaysia, still yet to break onto the scoreboard found their opportunity at the 57th minute mark with Firhan Ashari halving the deficit 2-1.

Queenslander, Dylan Wotherspoon scored a last minute field goal and his second goal of the tournament in the 59th minute, making it 3-1. Quickly turning the ball around, Tengku Ahmad netted Malaysia’s second goal moments before the final siren, however, this wasn’t enough to knock the Kookaburras off their 3-2 victory.

Speaking to Kookaburras Head Coach Graham Reid directly after the match, he commented, “We created a lot of opportunities tonight, it was probably some of our best hockey that we have played in a while however, we needed to better execute in the circle.

“The halftime message was to stay patient with the process that we are going through and things will eventually come, and sure enough they did. We lacked energy late in the second half, which allowed the crowd to get behind Malaysia and help them.

“Overall, I was really pleased with our efforts tonight, we still have a lot of work to do on our penalty corners and set plays however, that’s something we will be working on.”

Reviewing the Kookaburras’ performance from their previous 7-0 defeat over Canada Sunday night, Reid discussed the teams plan of attack coming into tonight’s match against Malaysia, having faced them in last year’s final.

“Tonight we mainly wanted to try and keep the crowd out of the game by scoring early. The idea was for us to dictate the game, making the play rather than sitting back waiting for Malaysia, as well as applying the pressure.”

During the match, the Kookaburras paid their respects to former Kookaburra and Olympian Paul Dearing, wearing black armbands in his commemoration. Dearing first played for Australia in 1963 against New Zealand and retired after the Munich Olympics in 1972, having played in three Olympic Games.

The Kookaburras’ third match of the Sultan Azlan Shah will be against Korea on Wednesday 8 April, 8:30pm AEST/6:30pm AWST.

Kookaburras squad v Malaysia
Tristan Clemons (GK) (Ferndale, WA) 12/0
Matthew Dawson (Central Coast, NSW) 12/0
Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD) 112/32
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT) 29/10
Mark Knowles (C) (Rockhampton, QLD) 247/20
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA) 64/20
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS) 233/59
Glenn Turner (Goulburn, NSW) 114/79
Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD) 80/34
Tristan White (Wollongong, NSW) 46/3
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA) 48/4

Used Substitute
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD) 46/8
Nick Budgeon (Hobart, TAS) 30/12
Tim Cross (Eaglemont, VIC) 2/1
Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD) 323/209
Glenn Simpson (Melbourne, VIC) 120/22
Dylan Wotherspoon (Murwillumbah, QLD) 6/2

Did Not Play
Leon Hayward (GK) (Darwin, NT) 3/0

Kookaburras’ Sultan Azlan Shah remaining fixtures
Wednesday 8 April – Kookaburras v Korea – 8:30pm AEST
Thursday 9 April – Kookaburras v New Zealand – 8:30pm AEST
Saturday 11 April – Kookaburras v India– 6:00pm AEST
Sunday 12 April – Final– 10:30pm AEST

Sultan Azlan Shah competing teams
Australia (World ranking #1)
Canada (#15)
Korea (#8)
India (#9)
Malaysia (#12)
New Zealand (#7)

HOCKEY AUSTRALIA

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