Kookaburras steal a Dutch treat

AUSTRALIA has won its fifth successive Champions Trophy in sensational style, beating the Netherlands 2-1 in golden-goal in extra time in Melbourne on Sunday.

Kieran Govers scored the winner five minutes into extra time to seal victory after the scores were tied 1-1 after regulation time.

The win - Australia's 13th Champions Trophy gold - came after a hard-fought match in front of a capacity crowd at Melbourne's State Netball and Hockey Centre.

The Dutch got the first score on the board 18 minutes in after a penalty corner was awarded when the ball came off an Australian foot.

Defender Sander Baart made the most of the opportunity, giving his side a 1-0 lead.

A penalty corner over a Dutch body obstruction at the other end in the 19th minute, gave Australia the chance to score an equaliser but the Kookaburras were unable to convert.

It wasn't long before the host side got another penalty corner with less than five minutes of play in the first half.

While it didn't result in a score, striker Russell Ford found himself in a handy position, as play continued near the left goal post, to put Australia on the board in the 31st minute.

Another penalty corner to the Kookaburras soon followed, after the ball came off a Dutch foot inside the D with less than a minute left in the first half.

Despite missing the conversion, an illegal block by the Netherlands led to a penalty stroke to Australia after the clock wound down, but goalkeeper Jaap Stockman managed to stop Jamie Dwyer's shot at goal.

As play resumed in the second half, the scores were level at 1-1.

Both teams worked hard but were unable to convert their opportunities, forcing the game into extra time.

But with less than three minutes left, Govers found the back of the net off an Eddie Ockenden pass to give Australia victory.

The clash was the first gold medal final between the two sides in seven years.

Earlier on Sunday, Pakistan defeated India in the bronze medal play-off 3-2.

India was first to score from a penalty corner eight minutes into play, off the stick of V. R. Raghunath.

Pakistan's ever-present intensity led to an equaliser 15 minutes later from Muhammad Rizwan snr.

Shafqat Rasool then found the net soon after play resumed in the second half giving Pakistan a 2-1 advantage.

A drag flick from teammate Muhammad Ateeq stretched their lead out even further with four minutes left to play, but India wasn't finished just yet.

Defender Rupinder Pal Singh made the most of a penalty corner at the end of the match.

But that was not enough to stop Pakistan from claiming its first Champions Trophy medal since 2004.

In other matches, Belgium was too good for Germany, winning 5-4 in extra time in the battle for fifth and sixth spots.

And a golden goal gave New Zealand a 3-2 win over England in the match to determine seventh and eighth.

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