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Australia win hockey gold

Australia beat Pakistan 3-0 in the final.
None | By Associated Press, Melbourne
UPDATED ON MAR 26, 2006 02:46 PM IST

Olympic champions Australia won their third consecutive Commonwealth Games men's field hockey title on Sunday with a 3-0 victory over Pakistan.

Penalty corner goals from Liam de Young and Luke Doerner asserted the Kookaburras' supremacy before Jamie Dwyer's flash strike rounded off the scoring in the final, completing a field hockey golden double for Australia.

Australia's women had reclaimed the title on Saturday with a 1-0 win over India.

Against Pakistan, Australia opened the scoring in the 17th minute on their first penalty corner as de Young deflected in a pass from Dwyer.

Pakistan's best shot at the goal in the first session came through Shakeel Abassi, who latched on to a through pass from Rehan Butt, but hit wide with the defense is disarray.

Forcing eight penalty corners, and conceding none, top-ranked Australia dominated the fast-paced encounter to avenge their loss in the final of last year's Rabobank Trophy in Amsterdam.

The contest featured some aggressive tackling from both sides, but a deliberate foul by Pakistan midfielder Tariq Aziz resulted in him being sent off in the 44th minute.

Aziz was given the red card for charging at Robert Hammond, leaving the Australian player bleeding from the nose. It was his second red card for the tournament and reduced Pakistan to 10 players for the remainder.

Australia benefited from the emerging gaps in the defense, but Michael McCann and Travis Brooks missed open field scoring chances by shooting wide.

Brooks even sidestepped goalkeeper Salman Akbar, but sent his reverse drive across the goalmouth.

Doerner increased Australia's lead in the 58th minute with a firm penalty corner drive into the goal's left corner, and Dwyer broke away to shoot on target three minutes later.

Australia have won all three men's field hockey titles since the sport made their debut in the Commonwealth Games at Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

Australian captain Brent Livermore, 29, has featured in all three title wins.

World No 5 Pakistan have not won a major title since their 1994 World Cup triumph in Sydney.

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