Champions Trophy: England beaten by Australia

By Will Turner

hockey

England look ever more unlikely to qualify for the final of this year’s Champions Trophy after losing 3-2 to Australia despite producing a much improved performance.

England’s third match of the tournament got off to the worst possible start as they slumped to an early two-goal deficit, Simon Orchard and Matthew Swann with the strikes.

Ashley Jackson’s goal gave England hope before Luke Doerner continued his prolific form in Australia’s penalty corner routines to restore their two-goal cushion.

Jonty Clarke slotted home with five minutes remaining as England briefly threatened to draw level but it was too little, too late.

England must now win their final two games and hope Germany lose theirs if they are to claim a place in the final.

Australia, who went in to Tuesday’s clash on the back of two wins scoring no fewer than 15 goals, took the lead in fortunate style. Orchard’s strike was deflected helplessly by Glenn Kirkham into the net.

Swann’s strike doubled the lead and things looked bleak for England before Jackson was on hand to score well from a penalty corner.

Despite Doerner making it 3-1 England continued to press and were rewarded with Clarke’s low strike. A few chances made for late drama before the game was brought to an end.

Elsewhere, New Zealand won their first Champions Trophy match in 27 years with a shock victory over the Netherlands as Spain ran out as surprise winners against hosts Germany.

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