Saturday, July 13, 2024

Australia men secure first Hockey Pro League title since 2019

Australia claimed their first men’s FIH Pro League title since 2019 after results went their way thousands of miles away.

Victory came after the Netherlands went down to Germany in a shoot-out loss (1-1 normal time) in Amsterdam, falling short of earning the points required to top Colin Batch’s team.

The Kookaburras had already secured qualification for the Hockey World Cup 2026 – an added incentive for success in the Pro League this season.

Their run was helped by accruing 56 goals in 16 matches, 23 of them coming from penalty corners.

Kookaburra Aran Zalewski said he was impressed with his side’s ability to find a way to win under pressure.

He said: “It’s certainly something we’ve been working on, our trademark you could say, coming home late.

“We’ve got that confidence and we know we can, if we’re behind, that’s somewhere that we feel comfortable in a game now, knowing we can create enough opportunities to get back in front.”

Meanwhile, Germany’s women secured an emphatic victory over Great Britain, 4-1, to ensure second in the standings behind the Netherlands.

The runner-up spot is a significant one as it means Die Danas qualified for the 2026 World Cup. GB women will finish third bottom.

In the other match of the day, Great Britain’s men completed a fine 3-1 win over Belgium.

Zach Wallace and Sam Ward scored first-half goals before Alexander Hendrickx pulled a PC goal back. Ward then made sure of the points two minutes from time.

GB can finish a likely third with victory in their final match of the campaign against Germany on Friday. The Dutch currently hold second place with one match remaining.

Total Hockey

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