Australia warmed up to another exciting season in the Sultan of Johor Cup with a 3-0 victory over Great Britain at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru tonight.
Three-time champions Great Britain found themselves back paddling early in the game as they fell behind 0-2 through Brodee Foster field goals in the 14th and 18th minutes while Diarmid Chappell added to the British misery in the 35th minute with field goal.
Two-goal hero Foster was awarded the Man of the Match award.
The Australians who emerged champions in 2016 and 2017 but lost to India 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation time in the 2022 final, could not have asked for a great start in this 11th edition of the tournament.
Great Britain coach Jon Bleby said his team has a composition of several youngsters and it was a nerve-wrecking match for them against the Australians.
“The were nervous in the early part of the game, especially in the first half, and allowed the Australians to score two goals. It was a tough match but we played much better in the second half,” said Bleby.
“We have two rest days and take on South Africa on Monday. We made some mistakes and paid a heavy price for it today and hope to get back on track,” he added.
The Australians dominated much of the match and were rewarded with four penalty corners while Great Britain had two.
Australian coach Jay Stacy said: “It was a good result for us in the first match although we did make some errors and we have to overcome those mistakes as we are playing Germany next. We had a tour of Europe recently and played matches against Germany and Belgium too.
“There is no doubt we aim to continue our momentum and stay at the top two to make the final again. Our objective here, just as the other teams, is to give the players the opportunity against top teams before the Junior World Cup.”