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Australia crumble against Spanish armada
January 09, 2004 19:51 IST
Spain gave Australia a taste of their own medicine while exhibiting their famed speed and counter-attacking ability for a comprehensive 3-1 victory in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
The Aussies, playing a typically attacking game that left them open at the back, had no answer to the sparkling hockey that the Spaniards displayed.
They definitely missed the creativity of centre-half Paul Gaudoin, who is absent due to injury.
On the comeback trail after a few years in the backrow of international hockey, Spain struck telling blows through Victor Sojo (13th minute) and Santiago Freixa (49th, 58th) for their first win in two outings.
The Aussies, runners-up to Germany in the 2002 World Cup at the same National Stadium, marked their presence with a 26th minute strike by Travis Brooks, who converted a penalty corner.
Sojo shook the Aussies, playing their first game in the tournament, by putting home a Ramon Alegre pass while Brooks restored parity as the teams took the break at 1-1.
In the second-half, the Spaniards stepped up the pace and two lightning counter-attacks fetched them as many goals from the opportunistic Freixa.
Freixa first deflected a hard centre from the left by Jaime Perez and then broke through on his own from the centre-line for a great goal.