Kookaburras flex muscles in huge win

2 months ago 15
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The Kookaburras have made a massive statement to their Olympic rivals with a crushing 7-1 win over India to strengthen their gold medal favouritism.

In contrast to their scrappy victory on the opening day when they came from behind to beat host nation Japan 5-3, Australia's men's hockey team were in a ruthless mood in the pool match against the world's No.4-ranked team.

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Australia and India tussle for possession in Tokyo. (Getty)

It was goals galore at Oi Hockey Stadium, and they were shared around.

Blake Govers bagged two, while Daniel Beale, Jeremy Hayward, Flynn Ogilvie, Josh Beltz and Tim Brand also found the back of the net.

The highlight was Brand's goal – the last of the match – to cap the emphatic win.

Brand ran onto a lovely long pass from Govers, then tapped the ball clear of a sliding challenge from Indian goalkeeper Parattu Sreejesh and kept his feet with a sidestep and leap. With an Indian defender tracking back and Sreejesh lunging, Brand swivelled and produced a pinpoint flick from the tightest of angles.

The win was set up with a blistering second quarter that put the Kookaburras firmly in control 4-0 at halftime.

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Daniel Beale deflected the ball home for Australia's opening goal in the 10th minute, but it was after the first break that the world No.1-ranked Aussies put the foot down.

Hayward, Ogilvie and Beltz all found the back of the net in the space of just six minutes.

Josh Beltz celebrates with teammates after scoring their team's fourth goal against India. (Getty)

India, coached by former Australian international Graham Reid, were shell-shocked.

In the second half, India came out with more aggression to pull a goal back through the ever-dangerous Dilpreet Singh.

But a clinical penalty stroke from Govers got the Kookaburras moving again and they flexed their muscles in the latter stages as they head towards their next test – a pool match against Argentina, the defending Olympic champions.

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