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Defending Champions Australia routs Canada 6-1 in Olympic men's hockey
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10:20, August 12, 2008

World No. 1 Australia fired the first shots to defend their title of men's Olympic hockey here on Monday, trouncing their rivals Canada 6-1.

The Aussies put on a powerful display of running hockey with forward Des Abbott scoring two field goals in a row before the quarter, which set up their win. His teammates Fergus Kavanagh and Eddie Ockenden each added one in the 31st and 48th minute.

Des Abbott scored his third goal in the 54th minute and just three minutes later, Grant Schubert added one more and sealed their win.

Canada, the bottom-ranked team in pool B, got a consolation goal from Peter Short in the 38th minute.

Australia suffered two casualties with Captain Bevan George and forward Jamie Dwyer, which coach Barry Dancer said they hope to make a decision about it tomorrow.

He said Des Abbott was a class player and showed his real strengths. "Some of our less experienced players stood out tonight. In the absence of Bevan George and Jamie Dwyer, they really showed the level of play they are capable of."

The coach also noted they were confident in defending their title for good preparations, but it's difficult to play Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and South Korea based on their performances the last two years, adding that South Africa, Pakistan and Britain were their next opponents and he looked forward to the game with South Africa on Wednesday.

Canadian captain Robert Short said Australia was the best team in the world as proved today. "Absolutely, we need win the next game and we have the confidence," he said.

"Australia are a good team and they punish you for your mistakes," said Canada's coach Louis Mendonca after the defeat.

Australia will next take on South Africa and Canada confront Pakistan on Wednesday.

Source:Xinhua

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1 China 13 3 4 20
2 USA 7 6 8 21
3 South Korea 5 5 0 10
4 Italy 3 4 2 9
5 Australia 3 1 3 7
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