A LUCKY goal six minutes into the match was all it took for 11th-ranked Spain to inflict a disastrous loss on the world champion Australians in the Kookaburras’ second match of the Games.
Ater the 1-0 loss, our men’s hockey team will have to regroup in their quest for a gold medal many believed was theirs for the taking.
But while the goal came from a deflection from a mishit, there was little miscalculated about the rest of Spain’s game plan.
Despite the years of toil for the Kookaburras from their Perth base at Curtin University, Spain looked the masters for much of the match, based on a stunningly effective defensive game.
WA product Fergus Kavanagh was good in defence and Matthew Swann displayed his extraordinary work-rate throughout.
But not even the legendary skills of Jamie Dwyer, the five-time World Player of the Year who plays for YMCC in the local League, could create clear chances in the circle.
Australia was forced to take off goalkeeper Andrew Charter for the last four minutes of the match in its quest for a goal.
While they will not be resorting to further drastic measures this early in the tournament in their preparations, the Kookaburras will know they cannot afford anything less than their best in their quest for gold from here on.