A commanding performance from start to finish helped the Kookaburras to a second consecutive win, 3-0 over Spain, at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague on Monday.
Coming out of the blocks like a steam train the Kookaburras stormed into the lead as Tim Deavin, who replaced the injured Glenn Simpson in Australia’s World Cup squad, casually placed a low tomahawk strike into the bottom corner two minutes in.
Captain Mark Knowles doubled the advantage from the penalty spot after just ten minutes but could only watch as a second penalty stroke rebounded back off the crossbar and out in the 21st minute.
Shortly before half time, Kieran Govers made it 3-0 with a powerful low drag flick from a penalty corner.
Despite the lack of goals in the second period and an improvement from Spain, the Kookaburras always looked in total control as they moved on to six points at the top of Pool A. Their next match comes against European silver medallists Belgium on Thursday.
National Coach Ric Charlesworth said after the match, “I think we played as well as well as we’ve played this year in the first half. I want us to play that way all the time. The second half was pretty disappointing. We took our foot off the pedal. I don’t ever want to do that, so that was disappointing.”
Referring to upcoming opponents Belgium, Charlesworth added, “They’re a very good team. It’ll be a very tough game. And a very important one for us.”
In the post-match press conference, acknowledging Charlesworth’s intention to step down as Head Coach after the Commonwealth Games in August, Spanish coach Salvador Indurain thanked the Australian for his contribution to hockey.