December 5 - Defending champions Australia crushed Spain 10-3 to reach their third consecutive final of the men's Champions Trophy in Melbourne today.


The Kookaburras created a new tournament record for most goals in a match as they routed the Spaniards, eclipsing their 7-5 win over the Netherlands in 1981.


Australia played in the gold medal match at the last two Champions Trophy tournaments, losing 1-0 to Germany in 2007 and beating Spain 4-1 in Rotterdam last year.


They will defend their title tomorrow against either Olympic and world champions Germany or the Dutch, who were playing in the day's final match.


Australia had only won one of their previous seven encounters against Spain in all major competitions, but they went on a goal spree before the home fans in their last group match on Saturday.


Spain held Australia for the first 45 minutes, going into the break at 2-2 after goals by Grant Schubert and Luke Doerner were interspersed with goals by Spain's Eddie Tubau and skipper Pol Amat.


Schubert put Australia ahead 3-2 early in the second half with a penalty stroke but were pegged back by a David Alegre equaliser for 3-3.


But the floodgates opened spectacularly as Australia lashed home seven unanswered goals in the final 19 minutes.


Doerner converted a penalty corner, Glenn Turner and Fergus Kavanagh put in two field goals each, and captain Jamie Dwyer and Eddie Ockenden contributed a field goal each.


However, Australia coach Ric Charlesworth tempered his team's success with reality.


He said: "The players know this result is an aberration.


"You have to remember that Spain has been in a position to win every match in this tournament and that tells you something about the quality of this team, which has some of the most skillful players in international hockey."


But Spanish player Rodrigo Garza admitted his team-mates stopped competing in the second half.


He said: "We were out of this tournament before the match and although we played good hockey in the first half, we did not play in the last 20 minutes, but you can expect to see very different matches from Spain in the [2010]World Cup."


The Netherlands need a significant win in Saturday's final game to knock Germany out on goal difference.


Earlier, England defeated South Korea 4-2, denying the Koreans of an outside chance of playing in Sunday's final.


Defender Ali Wilson gave England the lead and although Yoon Sung Hoon levelled, goals from Richard Alexander and Nick Catlin made it 3-1.


Lee Nam Yong pulled one back but Richard Mantell made sure when he smashed in a penalty corner to deny Korea a place in the gold medal final.



Related stories

December 2009: Australia notch up third victory as England remain without win

November 2009: England upset by controversial Spanish goal in draw
November 2009: England lose opening Champions Trophy match
November 2009: Lee to keep focus on London 2012