GB fall to Australia at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup – updated

Great Britain have lost 2-1 to Australia at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.

[img_assist|nid=2059|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=150|height=117]The Kookaburras are now definite finalists at Ipoh with Great Britain, Pakistan and New Zealand still in contention for the other final place.

GB hold second place on nine-points thanks to a one goal, goal-difference advantage over Pakistan. But with the Asian champions widely expected to beat bottom-of-the-table Malaysia in their final pool game, GB need a decent win against Korea in Saturday’s first match. Pakistan will then know what they need to do – win and by what goal margin, or draw – to make the final.

New Zealand, in fourth spot on seven points after smacking India 7-3 today, could also make the final if they defeat Australia on Saturday and GB and Pakistan both lose. Throw in some draws for GB and Pakistan and goal difference comes into play again (GB have a one goal advantage over the Kiwis). However, Malaysia ‘s first win of the tournament 3-1 vs Korea means GB will finish at least fourth.

The Kookaburras secured their final spot after dominating the first half against GB to lead 2-0 at the break. GB coach Jason Lee (@JasonLee_Leeboy) later Tweeted: “Very passive first five minutes versus Australia. We must grasp the game and not hope it will happen. ‘Better to burnout than fade away.’ Next time.”

The Kookaburras took the lead in the eighth minute off their first penalty corner. Brent Dancer’s drag flick sailed into goal despite Great Britain keeper James Fair getting a foot to it.

In the 29th minute, the Kookaburras went 2-0 up, courtesy of another penalty corner goal, this time via Christopher Ciriello.

Great Britain showed fight in the second half, punishing Australia in the 57th minute through a Richard Mantell penalty corner. This set the scene for a frantic last 13 minutes. However, Great Britain failed to find a second goal and the Kookaburras held on to a thrid consecutive win at the tournament.

Friday is a rest day for all teams. GB play Korea at 9.05am UK time on Saturday. Pakistan play Malaysia at 11.05am then Australia play New Zealand at 1.05pm.

 The official tournament website is www.azlanshahcup.com  with a Twitter feed of @azlancup . There is also  live text commentary at www.stick2hockey.com


There has been some moderate-quality live streaming video sporadically available on www.p2pstation.net

For our results page see here.