Olympic champion Australia announced their title intention in style as they overpowered Japan 3-1 to record their win in the Hockey World Cup Monchengladbach.
Australia, who had lost to Spain in the opener, bounced back in the reckoning with an authentic 4-0 win over Argentina yesterday and this evening they outplayed Japan though scoring only three goals.
For the winners, who led 2-1 at the breather, the goal scorers were Michael McCann (6th) Troy Elder(8th) and Russel Ford (55th). For Japan Toshiaki Fukuda earned the distinction of scoring the first goal for his side in the World cup so far. However, Japan is the only team, which has lost all the three matches, which they have played so far.
The margin of victory is no true reflection of the domination of the Aussies in the 70-minute encounter. They forced five penalty corners but could not convert a single one, which must be a cause for anxiety for coach Barry Dancer.
Japan played well within their limits and did make some incisive moves, one of which led to a goal.
The Australians, were 2-0 up by the time match was in eighth minute with two goals coming in a space of as many minutes. Dean Butler set up McCann in the 6th minute and he just slammed the ball home (1-0).
Two minutes later Troy Elder scored a super goal as he flicked the ball to the right side of the goal giving no chance to Japan defenders, Aussies took things easy after these two quick success and paid the price for the complacency as Japanese struck back in the 16th minute through Fukuda, who surprised the defenders and goalkeeper alike with a powerful drive to reduce the margin (1-2).
The Australians tasted the success for the third time in the 55th minute through Russel Ford, who was set up by Travis Brooks near the circle (3-1).
Japanese tried hard to reduce the margin but failed to beat the solid Australia defence.