Vol. 5 Num 1046 Sat. May 12, 2007  

Aussies in Azlan Shah final

Olympic champions Australia extended their supremacy over Asian Games gold medallists Korea scripting a 6-2 win to enter the final of the 16th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup eight-nation hockey tournament, here today.

It was Australia's fourth consecutive entry into the final of this tournament that they have won as many times and a repeat of last year's World Cup semi-final that the Aussies had won 4-2.

Goals by Desmond Abbot (9th, 69th), Andrew Smith (22nd), Liam Deyoung (37th), Eli Matheson (51st) and Grant Schubert (60th) set up the Aussie victory while Korean replies came from Jeong Yun Sang (11th) and Lee Sung Min (57th).

As the scoreline suggested, the Australians were a far superior side as they played a brilliant tactical game to check the Koreans whose shaky defence on the night was cruelly exposed their ruthless opponents.

Barring the lone penalty corner they conceded, the Australians maintained a vice-like grip on the first-half proceedings that had the Koreans pinned in their own half.

The Australians were superbly organised in the midfield where they had the Korean schemers under close scrutiny. Consequently, the Koreans could barely make a pass before an Australian was on the ball.

The scoring began in the ninth minute when Abbott swept home a clearance by goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho who had blocked Deyoung's try off a Bevan George free-hit.

The Koreans retaliated and forced a penalty corner against the run of play with Sang finding the net with a powerful drag-flick for the equaliser in the 11th.