Kookaburras claim World League gold
Goals from youngsters Jeremy Hayward and Matthew Dawson earned the Kookaburras their maiden World League crown with a 2-1 win over Belgium in Raipur.
Man of the Match Hayward’s unstoppable shot into the top right corner early in the second quarter put Australia’s men in front before Dawson’s drag flick doubled their advantage midway through the third period.
Simon Gougnard scored a consolation goal for the Red Lions with an overtime penalty corner rebound.
There was further celebration for the Kookaburras following the match with Jamie Dwyer awarded the Hero Player of the Tournament.
Kookaburras Head Coach Graham Reid said, “It was a good effort tonight. Again, it was a really good start and we made some opportunities early. We tried a few different tactics tonight and it’s good that they came off.
“It was quite apt that both the guys who scored tonight were our young guys. It’s been a long trip here in India and for them to be able to put it together at the business end is pleasing.
“I thought our defence was very good. The running back was always there tonight; everyone worked really hard.”
Acknowledging there’s always more work to be done, Reid added, “One of our goals was not to have any green or yellow cards so it was disappointing to receive a few of those tonight. You can’t do all the things you want to in attack when you’re having to defend. We can always do better at that.”
Reid will publicly announce his Olympic training squad in ten days’ time.
Ahead of those deliberations, he said, “We’ve gathered a hell of a lot of good information while we’ve been in India. We’ve got out of it everything that we wanted and it was fantastic to bring the whole squad here for the tests before the World League.”
22 year-old defender Hayward broke the deadlock immediately following the quarter time break. Having found a Belgian foot just outside the circle he maximised the advantage played by the umpire to tee up a half volley, unleashing an unstoppable shot across goal and into the far top corner. It was his fourth goal of the tournament, leaving him as Australia’s leading scorer in Raipur.
Belgium’s best chance of the first half came when a pass deflected into the path of Sebastien Dockier but the Belgian forward kicked the ball when through one-on-one with Andrew Charter.
Midway through the third period Australia successfully used their video referral to force a penalty corner and it was 21 year-old defender Matthew Dawson who flicked home a second goal. His drag flick found the roof of the net via a deflection off the glove of Belgian goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch for 2-0.
Matt Gohdes came within centimetres of netting a third goal but for Emmanuel Stockbroekx’s outstanding goal-saving clearance on the line.
Both Australian goalkeepers, Tyler Lovell and Andrew Charter, were called upon in the final 20 minutes as Belgium fought for a way back into the contest but ultimately Gougnard’s goal with the clock at zero was no more than a consolation.
Accepting his Player of the Tournament award, 36 year-old Jamie Dwyer, who plans to retire in 2016, thanked the Indian fans, saying, “This is the last time I’ll play in the green and gold in India so thank you to all my fans here.”
Earlier, India secured the bronze medal with an unlikely comeback against the Netherlands, which was ultimately settled with a shoot-out. Two goals down to the Dutch at half time, India turned the game on its head to go 5-3 up with two minutes remaining. But two goals in as many minutes from the Netherlands sent the match to a shoot-out, which India won 3-2.
News Source: Hockey Australia
2015 HOCKEY WORLD LEAGUE FINAL – Gold Medal Match
KOOKABURRAS – 2 (1)
Jeremy Hayward 16 (FG), Matthew Dawson 37 (PC)
BELGIUM – 1 (0)
Simon Gougnard 60 (PC)
Bronze Medal Result:
Netherlands 5-5 India (India won 3-2 on shoot-out)
1. Australia (gold medal)
2. Belgium (silver medal)
3. India (bronze medal)
6. Great Britain
Individual Tournament Awards
Fans’ Player of the Tournament: PR Sreejesh (India)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Jaap Stockmann (Netherlands)
Junior Player of the Tournament: Arthur van Doren (Belgium)
Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament: Gonzalo Peillat (Argentina) (8 goals)
Player of the Tournament: Jamie Dwyer (Australia)
Kookaburras’ squad vs Belgium
Matthew Dawson (Central Coast, NSW) 32/6
Tim Deavin (Launceston, TAS) 124/6
Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD) 351/234
Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD) 143/47
Kieran Govers (Wollongong, NSW) 116/57
Fergus Kavanagh (Geraldton, WA) 216/16
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD) 275/22
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA) 60/0
Simon Orchard (Maitland, NSW) 187/54
Glenn Turner (Goulburn, NSW) 124/89
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA) 77/8
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD) 72/15
Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT) 104/0
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT) 45/17
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA) 85/34
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS) 262/63
Matthew Swann (Mackay, QLD) 128/6
Dylan Wotherspoon (Murwillumbah, NSW) [QAS athlete] 23/6