Thursday, 20 March 2014 | MYT 10:24 PM
Australia beat S. Korea to keep 100% record intact
Korea’s Eun Seong-hong (left) tussling for the ball with Australia’s Daniel Beale during their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match in Ipoh. — SAIFUL BAHRI / The Star
IPOH: Defending champions Australia kept their 100% record intact after outplaying Asia Cup champions South Korea 5-1 and qualify for the final in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament.
It was the fourth straight win for the Kookaburras, who will wrap up their round-robin fixtures against Malaysia on Saturday.
South Korea’s defeat on Thursday puts Malaysia in a good position to qualify for the final.
Malaysia are currently second in the standings, behind Australia, with 10 points. South Korea are third with seven points.
But with a seven-goal advantage in hand, Malaysia go into their last match against Australia in good nick.
Liam De Young made his 300th international appearance and was presented with a memento by coach Ric Charlesworth before the match on Thursday.
The Australians got their goals through Trent Mitton (10th), Nicholas Budgeon (35th), Jeremy Hayward (59th) and Matt Gohdes (63rd, 69th).
Two-time champions South Korea replied through Jan Jung-hyun in the 32nd minutes.
Charlesworth was impressed with his team’s performance.
“It was a solid display. The Koreans gave us a hard time in the first-half and it was difficult to break their defence.
“But we played with more determination after the breather and made full use of our chances,” said Charlesworth, who is concerned with a few injuries to his players.
In the first match of the day, Canada registered their first win in the tournament by edging China 4-3.
Canada and China are tied on three points from one win in five matches. China, however, are fourth with a better goal difference.
Canada’s goalscorers were Matthew Guest (first, 15th minutes), Gordon Johnston (33rd) and Iain Smythe (64th). China replied through Guo Xiaoping (third), Huang Yue (46th) and Du Talake (64th).