Australia beat Britain 2-1, enter Azlan Shah Cup final
Ipoh: World champions Australia defeated Great Britain 2-1 in their penultimate round-robin league match to enter the final of the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament on Thursday.
With 13 points from four matches, five-time champions Australia stayed on course for their first title in 2011 after having booked their place in the summit clash with still a match to play.
The Kookaburras will round off their round-robin league outings with a game against New Zealand on Saturday. However, Australia`s opponent in the final will only be decided on Saturday as both Great Britain and Pakistan are on nine points from five matches and play their last matches after a rest day on Friday.
Title holders India are on seven points and play their last league match against New Zealand later in the day.
Australia, who in 2010 became the first team to win the World Cup, Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games in the same year, opened the scoring through a penalty corner conversion by Brent Dancer in the eighth minute.
Christopher Ciriello then scored in the 29th minute to see Australia go into the breather with a 2-0 lead.
Great Britain, however, reduced the margin in the 57th minute when drag-flicker Richard Mantell converted a penalty corner.
Australia, fielding a young team in this tournament as several of its top players are injured or playing in European Leagues, got two scoring chances in the dying stages of the match only to be denied by goalline saves from British defenders.