Ipoh (Malaysia): World champions Australia completed their all-win sequence in the round-robin league competition of the 25th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament by posting a facile 3-0 victory over Canada, in Malaysia on Friday.
Captain Mark Knowles (16th minute), Blake Govers (33rd) and Flynn Ogilvie (36th) scored for Australia, who did not press at their top pace to conserve energy for tomorrow's final encounter.
Australia logged the tally of maximum 18 points from six outings, while Canada finished on five points and slipped behind Pakistan, who today scored a 4-1 triumph over bottom-finishers Japan.
Pakistan's win boosted their points tally to six, but they still failed to make it to the top-four place in the league standings, thereby dashing their chances of claiming a medal. Pakistan will take on Canada in the playoff for the fifth and sixth spots tomorrow. After being held goalless in the first quarter, captain Knowles opened the account for Australia in the 16th minute with a penalty corner conversion and Govers doubled the lead by flicking on target three minutes into the second half.
Ogilvie's strike in open field play rounded off the Australian scoring by finding the mark from a crowded goalmouth melee. Canadian captain Scott Tupper squandered a chance to reduce the margin as he failed to convert a penalty stroke in last minute of play. Later in the day, Pakistan spanked Japan, who finished the tournament without a point.
Two field goals from Pakistan striker Muhammad Arslan Qadir in the last quarter took the fight out of Japan, who had narrowed the lead to one goal when Shota Yamada converted a penalty corner in the 48th minute.
Pakistan had earlier asserted their authority through open play strikes by Muhammad Irfan Jr in the 20th minute and Rizwan Ali in the 24th minute.