Matt Dawson’s penalty corner conversion in the 52nd minute clinched defending champions Australia a 2-1 victory over Great Britain, virtually placing them in the final of the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, in Ipoh.
Dawson’s goal broke the deadlock after Australia had opened the scoring with a field goal from Trent Mitton in the 44th minute, only for Great Britain to equalise through Mark Gleghorne in the 51st.
Nine-time winners of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, Australia stay atop the standings ladder with 10 points in four matches. Australia have already placed one foot in the final.
It would take a series of dramatic results, including World champions Australia’s shock loss to lowly ranked Japan, for two teams to overtake them in the standings after the last round of league fixtures on Friday.
Three other countries – India, Great Britain and New Zealand – are bunched together on seven points each from four outings. They will be vying for the second spot and a place in the title contest.
India are now No. 2 in the standings due to a one-goal advantage they have over Britain in goals scored after today’s matches, although they both have the same goal difference.
New Zealand today rode on Kane Russell’s 25th-minute goal to prevail 1-0 over hosts Malaysia. But they retain the fourth spot in the standings.
India’s 4-3 win over Japan kept them on course for a second successive appearance in the title contest. Australia had defeated India 4-0 in the final last year.
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