Champions Trophy: Aus defeat Germany

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Olympic champions Australia began their quest for the Champions Trophy in style with a 4-1 win over Germany in the opening match in Chennai.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:48 IST
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Olympic champions Australia began their quest for the Champions Trophy in style with a 4-1 win over Germany in the opening match in Chennai on Saturday. Jamie Dwyer (14th and 36th), Nathan Eglington (30th) and Brent Livermore (39th) were the scorers for Australia while Christopher Zeller came up with the consolation goal for the Germans in the 61st minute. Australia, who lost won the title in 1999 at Brisbane, lived upto their world no 1 ranking, outplaying their rivals who, barring a late charge in the second half, looked out of sorts. The Olympic champions exhibited breathtaking speed and alacrity in their moves with Eglington and Dwyer making repeated forays into the rival goal. The Germans, who have not won the title since 2001, were slow to get going and lost possession regularly. They did get a couple of chances, but failed to capitalise. The margin of victory would have been bigger but German custodian Urich Bubolz and the defence, led by Justus Schazrowsky, foiled a few attempts. Eglington set the tone with a shy on goal in the very first minute. The Kookaburras forced as many as three penalty corners within the first 10 minutes but their first success came through a field goal in the 13th minute. Eglington from the right fed Dwyer who did not miss the opportunity. The Germans contested the goal but Umpire Raghu Prasad stuck to his decision. Bolstered by the success, the Australians kept up the pressure and Eglington in the 30th minute came up with the second goal beating Urich Bubolz with a solo run. Australians were even more attacking in the second half and scored off a penalty corner. Mathew Wells pushed and 26-year old Dwyer deflected the ball into the goal from close range. The fourth goal for Australia came just three minutes later off a penalty stroke. Striker Travis Brooks, who kept troubling the German defence, took a shot from right with just the goalkeeper and Sebastian Biederlack in front of him. The ball hit Biederlack and Umpire John Wright promptly pointed to the spot. Livermore put the issue beyond doubt despite the Germans bringing in reserve goalkeeper Christian Schulte. In search of a consolation goal, the Germans forced a series of penalty corners in the next 15 minutes, one of which was converted by Zeller. But it was too little too late and Australia held on to their lead to clinch the issue. (PTI)