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Late goal secures Australian victory
21 Jul 2008 06:46

© FIH / Dr. Wolfgang Sternberger

The Australian men’s team defeated Korea by the closest of margins on the last stroke of the match to record a come from behind victory in their second last official match prior to the Beijing Olympics.

The Kookaburras trailed all day however a penalty corner goal to Luke Doerner recorded after the full time whistle had blown secured the victory in the second match of a three test series in Cairns.

While eventually walking away with the win the Kookaburras were up against it early, with Korea seemingly buoyed by their poor performance during the first test last Saturday.

After the Kookaburras failed to make the most the matches first penalty corner attempt the Koreans demonstrated true efficiency in from of the net, with Jong Hyun Jang making them pay by scoring three penalty corner goals within six minutes.

With their backs against the wall the Kookaburras lifted, with youngster Des Abbott scoring an impressive field goal from the top of the circle to help steady the Korean flow of play.

The Kookaburras controlled the closing stages of the half however failed to make any more impact on the scoreboard, with the Koreans seemingly happy to play out the half to protect their commanding lead.

After three consecutive penalty corner saves in a row from goalkeeper Stephen Mowlam late in the first half the Kookaburras went into the half time break confident a comeback was within their grasp.

This feeling grew even stronger midway through the second half when Eli Matheson found the back of the net to reduce the margin to only one goal with plenty of time still on the clock.

With the Korean defense now under constant pressure the Kookaburras continued to pepper the goals, finally drawing the game with only two minutes remaining after Jamie Dwyer converted a penalty stroke.

The dying minutes of the match played out in dramatic circumstances, with the Kookaburras continuing their all out attack to ensure the Korean defense remained under constant pressure.

With only seconds remaining the Kookaburras were awarded a penalty corner, much to the delight of the Australian home crowd.

After their first attempt was denied the Kookaburras were again awarded another penalty corner, with Luke Doerner making no mistakes the second time around to deliver a moral boosting victory to the Kookaburras only weeks ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

The third and final match of the series will be played on Wednesday 23 July.

Australia – Korea 4-3 (1-3)
Goals - Kor Jang 10m PC/ 12m PC/ 16m PC, Aus Abbott 19m FG, Aus Matheson 32m FG, Aus Dwyer 68m PS, Doerner 70m PC

Source: Hockey Australia


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