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Australia book World Cup spot

November 5, 2005

Australia 2 defeated New Zealand 0
Goals: AUS ÔÇô Suzie Faulkner FG 27m, Wendy Alcorn FG 41m

Australia have booked a place at next year's women's Samsung Hockey World Cup with a tough 2-0 win over New Zealand in the Oceania Cup decider in Sydney.

After New Zealand took a 1-0 lead in the series in Auckland last weekend, the Hockeyroos recovered to win the next two matches to book their spot in Madrid.

Australia's ability to score when not in control of general play proved the difference, with New Zealand unable to apply scoreboard pressure to the ascendancy they had earned on the pitch.

Suzie Faulkner struck for the hosts in the 27th minute and Australia held their defensive line to lead 1-0 at the break.

The second half was just six minutes old when Hockeyroo Wendy Alcorn scored the critical first goal after half time to double Australia's lead.

Despite having more penalty corner opportunities than Australia and a number of goal scoring chances in the first half in particular, New Zealand could breach the Hockeyroos defence and watched as their chance to defeat their Oceania nemesis end with the final whistle.

The loss leaves New Zealand facing a heavily-packed international program in 2006, with the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne closely followed by the Samsung Hockey World Qualifier and the Rabo Hockey Champions Trophy before the World Cup in Madrid in September/October.

The task of managing the playing squad through such a demanding program will be a difficult one for Black Sticks coach Ian Rutledge as his team attempts to consolidate their top six ranking and challenge for a World Cup medal.

Next up for the Hockeyroos is the Samsung Hockey Champions Trophy in Canberra, Australia. The hosts have won the two previous editions of the tournaments held in Australia but will face a tough battle this year to overcome Netherlands, Argentina, Germany, China and Korea to claim their seventh title.

The Champions Trophy will start on Saturday 26 November and finish Sunday, 4 December. For more information, visit http://samsungchampionstrophy.worldhockey.org. Spectators can purchase tickets for the event from Ticketek in Australia.


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