HWL: Australia defeat hapless Canada

Australia went all out against a hapless Canada to register a 6-0 victory in its last Pool A league match of the Hockey World League Finals .

Trent Mitton of Australia (25) celebrates his goal during the match against Canada.   -  Getty Images

Hurting from the huge defeat to bitter rivals Great Britain, Australia went all out against a hapless Canada to register a 6-0 victory in its last Pool A league match of the Hockey World League Finals here on Tuesday. The result, however, highlighted more problems than positives for the world champion side.

The goal-fest started early when Trent Mitton put through Daniel Beale from near the backline to score the opener in the fourth minute. Australia had a massive 75 percent possession in the game and took more than 25 shots at the goal. They also earned an unimaginable 19 penalty corners in the match. But they managed to convert only three of them.

It was so one-sided that Australian goalkeeper Andrew Charter was often seen stretching himself without the helmet, struggling to stay alert. The ball hardly entered the Australian half. The relentless Aussie attack kept coming in waves, while Canadians struggled to put stick to ball.

The Canadian shot-stopper David Carter was a busy man. The goalkeeper dived, lunged and leaped at every ball that came his way, warding off the desperate Australian attack including four back-to-back penalty corners. Deservedly, he was named Man of the Match despite ending up on the losing side.

It is said that statistics don't lie. In which case, Australia coach Graham Reid should be a very concerned man. The Australian strikeforce of Kieran Govers, Dylan Wotherspoon, Glenn Turner and Trent Mitton was wayward while legend Jamie Dwyer was a pale shadow of himself. The Canadian defence, marshalled by captain Scott Tupper, took body blows but did not collapse. The six goals that came could have been 16. It would have been by an earlier Australian team. Not today though.

The one man who wouldn't mind playing this Australian team would be Carlos Retegui. The Argentina coach was in the stands with his staff, observing every move made by the Australians, discussing the game-plan. With the way Australia struggled to score, however, Retegui would fancy his chances in the quarterfinals. The final line-up would be decided only after the day's last match between Belgium and Great Britain.

On Monday, Argentina won the battle of attrition between two teams with strong defences, defeating Olympic champion Germany 3-1 to finish second in pool B. The 23-year old Gonzalo Peillat retained his scoring record in the competition, scoring two of the three goals. Peillat is now the top-scorer in the tournament with six goals in three games.

The result:

Pool A: Australia 6 (Daniel Beale 2, Jeremy Hayward, Dylan Wotherspoon, Matthew Dawson, Kieran Govers) bt Canada 0.