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Spain inflict first defeat to Kookaburras
24 Jan 2008 09:32

The 100 game milestone of 2007 World Hockey Young Player of the Year Mark Knowles wasn't enough to buoy the Kookaburras squad to victory overnight, going down to Spain in a high quality match at the 5 Nation Tournament in South Africa.

Despite scoring the first goal of the game via a Luke Doerner penalty conversion only minutes into the second half, Spain went on to score the next three goals of the match to create a demanding lead.

Youngster Des Abbott consolidated with a field goal at the 66 minute mark but it was a case of too little too late for the Kookaburras, with Spain now the only undefeated team at the tournament.

Although disappointed with the loss, coach Barry Dancer said there was still plenty of encouraging signs to take away from the match which saw the young Australian side take on a near full strength Spanish outfit.

"We played our best hockey at the beginning and end of the match. Although this performance didn't have the same level of consistency as our other matches, there was still some encouraging elements," said Dancer.

Luke Doerner was once again one of the better performers for the Kookaburras while Mark Knowles was consistent once more in defense.

The Kookaburras will resume the last 26 minutes of their match against the Netherlands this Friday after play was postponed on Tuesday due to an extreme down pour which left the pitch unplayable.

The Kookaburras hold a three goal lead going into the final minutes of the match with the result vital to the teams chances of making the finals after their recent loss to Spain.

Kookaburras 2 Spain 3 (0 - 0 half time)

Goals - AUS Doerner 37m PC, ESP Ribas 40m PC/ 44m PC, ESP Freixa 57m FG, AUS Abbott 66m FG

Source: Hockey Australia

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