Australia land last ever Champions Trophy as Netherlands take bronze

©: Frank Uijlenbroek - World Sport Pics



Australia won the last edition of the men's Champions Trophy thanks to a shoot-out victory against an India team that pushed them all the way in Sunday's showpiece final in Breda on Sunday.

India were very much on top in the opening quarter but could not find a route to goal thanks to some excellent defensive work by the Australians who showed all of their composure.

The Kookaburras grew into the game and took the lead through a second quarter penalty corner drag-flick from Blake Govers, with India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh managing to get a glove on the shot but not enough to stop the ball from travelling into the goal.

India scored their equaliser in the third quarter when Vivek Prasad crashed a superb volley past Australia shot-stopper Tyler Lovell, a man who played a significant role in the shoot-out when the scores fnished locked together at 1-1.

Lovell kept Sardar Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and Lalit Upadhyay off the score-sheet in the shoot-out, with Aran Zalewski, Daniel Beale and Jeremy Edwards scoring the crucial goals as the Kookaburras triumphed 3-1.

In terms of the individual awards, Australia's Zalewski was named Best Player while India's PR Sreejesh took the Best Goalkeeper prize. The Best Rising Player went to Jake Harvie of Australia, with Argentina's Gonzalo Peillat's six goals earning him the Hero Top Scorer title.

European champions the Netherlands claimed the bronze medal thanks to a 2-0 victory over Rio 2016 Olympic gold medalists Argentina.

The match was evenly contested throughout, with both teams outstanding in defence to keep each other off the score-board until the fourth quarter. The deadlock was finally broken when a perfectly executed penalty corner drag-flick from Jeroen Hertzberger ratted the backboard in the 47th minute.

The scoring was completed by Mirco Pruijser who produced an outstanding finish to flick into the roof of the Argentina net following a blocked penalty corner effort. It proved to be an excellent ending to the campaign of the host nation, and was certainly enjoyed by the thousands of fans watching in the stadium.

“It was an amazing game and the crowd were also amazing”, said Netherlands star Glenn Schuurman, who became a Champions Trophy bronze medal winner on the occasion of his 100th senior international match.

“Argentina are a really good team. They are the Olympic champions, they won against Australia yesterday and it was really close today."

Belgium beat Pakistan to fifth place with a shoot-out win.