IPOH: Australia have virtually assured themselves of a place in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final.
The Kookaburras hammered Pakistan 4-0 for their third win in as many matches to top the seven-team standings with nine points. Pakistan have three points.
The two teams have met 13 times since 2006 – and Australia have won every single game.
So, it was no different at the Azlan Shah Stadium on Sunday, with Blake Govers (24th), Thomas Craig (41st), Jamie Dwyer (42nd) and Aran Zalewski (52nd) getting the goals for the Aussies.
Australian coach Graham Reid was happy with their third straight win.
“There are still some areas to work on. We had numerous chances, but missed a lot of them.
“We’re looking forward to our next match – against New Zealand. It will be yet another tough match,” he said.
Defending champions New Zealand also enjoyed a fruitful evening, downing Japan 4-1 in an earlier match.
The Kiwis got their goals through Nick Wilson (fourth minute), Simon Child (13th), Nic Woods (28th) and Hugo Inglis (58th) while Kazuma Murata scored the lone goal for Japan in the 20th minute.
New Zealand coach Colin Batch was happy with the win as it was achieved under very humid conditions.
“I was pleased with the way we started, but we struggled a bit in the later stages,” he said.
“It was good match for us, but we have a fair bit of work to do with our penalty corner conversion. It’s still not good enough. I’m also bit concerned about the number of corners we gave away.”
Batch is happy that all the teams will enjoy a break today as his team will be up against Australia next.
“They (Australia) are always a hard team to beat and there is an intense rivalry between the two sides. I’m sure they will be well prepared,” he said.