Bhubaneswar, 6 December 2014: The Hero Hockey Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar kicked off with a big surprise as England defeated the reigning world champions Australia 3-1 (2-0). Debutant Sam Ward scored twice in his England debut with Alastair Brogdon adding another to secure a deserved win for the world number 5.
England had the better start into this game with Brogdon scoring the opening goal in the 6th minute. He won possession in the circle and defeated Kookaburra goalie Andrew Charter with a powerful backhand stroke.
While England was the dominating side in the first quarter, the world champions got stronger in the second quarter. Australia produced a row of penalty corners but could not capitalise on the opportunities.
However, England doubled their lead against the run of play. Debutant Sam Ward (27’) smashed the ball into the empty Kookaburra goal after the ball bounced off the post. The 23-year old got called up into the team last Saturday after Harry Martin had to pull out due to injury.
The third quarter saw an equal match with chances either side but the goalkeepers Charter and George Pinner (ENG) kept clean sheets. Australia raised the pace in the last quarter but the English defence stayed firm until Chris Ciriello (54’) flicked in a penalty corner to bring Australia on the scoreboard.
Soon after, Australia failed to net from a row of promising opportunities. Instead it was Ward again, scoring from a fast counter-attack to make it 3-1 with three minutes to go.