Kookaburras Claim Victory & Qualify For FIH Pro League Final

In Eddie Ockenden’s momentous 350th match, the team battled through a difficult first half before goals to Tom Craig and Blake Govers secured the win.

The opening quarter of the match was closely fought, with neither team making major attacking moves, save for an early penalty corner for Australia that forced a good save from Tobias Walter in goal.

A brilliant display of build-up play set Daniel Beale sprinting into a one-on-one with the German goalkeeper in the 21st minute, however the shot was denied by Walter.

In the second quarter, Germany began to provide some dashing runs through the middle and looked to have the Australian defence in trouble, but they were unable to hit the target when it counted.

Tyler Lovell stood up and made some brilliant low saves under pressure, keeping the scores locked in a stalemate.

Johannes Grosse received a ten-minute yellow card for Germany in the 28th minute but Australia were unable to make the most of the numerical advantage in the remainder of the first half, going into the main break with the scores locked at 0-0.

The beginning of the third quarter saw both teams continue to create opportunities to break the game open without making it count on the scoreboard. Australia continued to have the numbers advantage with Grosse off until the 38th minute.

Germany won a penalty corner, but a mis-trap enabled the Kookaburras to clear the ball. A low cross from Australia at the other end left the German goalkeeper stranded but no-one was able to get a touch at the far post.

Finally, in the 42nd minute, Tom Craig rifled in a powerful reverse stick shot in to the roof of the net that was too good for the second German keeper Aly following some great lead up play from Corey Weyer.

A 52nd minute penalty corner was well taken by the Australians, whilst Blake Govers’ first shot was blocked he was able to follow up and made sure with his second shot to put the Australians 2-0 up.

Germany replaced their goalkeeper with a field player for the last six minutes of the match looking to capitalise on having an extra field player. They managed to strike late with a goal to Marco Miltkau in the 59th minute, but by then the chances of a comeback were limited by the clock and a determined Kookaburras defence.

The Kookaburras next play on Wednesday in Antwerp against world number one team Belgium.

Australia 2 (Craig 42’, Govers 52’)

Germany 1 (Miltkau 59’)