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07 Aug 2012
London 2012 , IOC News , Hockey

Medal hopefuls sound a warning - London 2012 - Hockey

Australia sent out a warning to their rivals in the men's Hockey competition on Day 11, while Great Britain held on to make it through to the semi-finals.

The Australians re-established their reputation as the team to fear with a comprehensive 7-0 victory over Pakistan to confirm their place in the semi-finals as Group A winners.

For the third time in five matches, the Kookaburras scored five or more in a match - hitting seven for a second time - to finish with 23 goals to their tally.

Not content with having the best attacking record in the tournament, they also are the strongest defensively, having let in just five goals, which all came as they conceded leads to draw with Argentina and Great Britain.

Liam de Young turned in a fifth-minute penalty corner rebound before Matt Butturini, on his 25th birthday, was fouled and Mark Knowles converted from the penalty spot.

In a six-minute spell before half-time Chris Ciriello powerfully flicked home a penalty corner before smashing a brilliant reverse-stick shot past static goalkeeper Imran Shah from the top of the circle.

Pakistan had a chance to get on the scoresheet early in the second half but Muhammad Rizwan Snr's shot was saved by Nathan Burger in goal.

Australia were at their clinical best, however, and when Russell Ford cleverly chipped the ball past Muhammad Irfan his shot flew past Shah and in off the underside of the crossbar.

Jamie Dwyer's reverse-stick shot on the turn from the top of the circle was nowhere near as powerful but the goalkeeper misjudged the bounce and conceded a sixth.

Glenn Turner completed the scoring two minutes from the end when he slid in to convert Eddie Ockenden's cross after a swift passing move.

Australia will now play Germany, the runners-up from Group B, who signed off their preliminary campaign with a thrilling 5-5 draw against New Zealand.

The Black Sticks raced into a 5-2 half-time lead with two goals from Simon Child and one each for Nick Wilson, Richard Petherick, Stephen Jenness, with Oskar Deecke and Florian Fuchs briefly making it 2-1 and then 3-2.

Goals continued to flow after the break but all went in Germany's favour with two for Christopher Zeller and one for Thilo Stralkowski to level things up in the tournament's highest-scoring match.

Earlier in the day, the Netherlands finished their Group B campaign with a 100 per cent record after a fifth successive victory, 4-2 against the Republic of Korea.

The Dutch had already made the last four but they were 2-0 up at half-time after Mink van der Weerden scored his sixth goal of the tournament from a penalty corner and Valentin Verga added the second.

Only after Roderick Weusthof had converted a penalty stroke after he had been fouled in the circle did Korea start to play.

Nam Hyun Woo converted a penalty corner midway through the half, although he injured his back in the process and had to be carried off, while Jang Jong Hyun's set-piece was turned in by Lee Nam Yong before Billy Bakker turned in a cross.

Argentina ensured they avoided the last-place play-off as they came from behind to win 6-3 against South Africa, while eight-time Olympic champions India's poor run continued as they were beaten 3-0 by Belgium.

In the evening, there was another thrilling encounter at the Riverbank Arena involving the host nation, as Great Britain survived a tense finish to hold out for a 1-1 draw with Spain.

The result meant they secured the point they needed to finish second in Group A and now go on to meet the Netherlands in the last four.

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