Melbourne, Dec 1 : Title-holders Australia got their third win in as many matches over England 2-1 at the field hockey Champions Trophy Tuesday.
Des Abbott scored the winner for the hosts with 10 minutes left as Australia remained on course towards the final and a possible record 10th title halfway through the group stage with a maximum nine points.
Olympic champions Germany and South Korea have six points each after getting hard-fought victories earlier in the day, 5-4 over Spain and 2-1 over the Netherlands, respectively.
The top-ranked teams from the group stage contest Sunday's final of the prestigious annual event. Germany and Australia have won nine titles each.
The Kookaburras dominated from the start against England, who nonetheless drew first blood from Iain Mackay early on.
Grant Schubert levelled nine minutes later in the 22nd, but it then took until the 60th minute for Abbott to get the winner with a field goal. Australia could have easily won by a bigger margin, but wasted several chances including six penalty corners.
Australia next host Germany on Thursday, with South Korea up against Spain and the Dutch against England that day.
The Germans threw away a 3-1 lead and trailed 4-3 against Spain in a dramatic rematch of the 2008 Olympics final before Florian Fuchs got his second goal on the hour and Matthias Witthaus got the winner in the final minute.
British umpire Hamish Jamson originally disallowed the last goal, saying that Witthaus has touched the ball with his foot, but that ruling was overturned by the video umpire.
"It could have gone either way. We were lucky to win. A draw was possibly a fair result," said German coach Markus Weise.
The South Koreans continued their surprise run by beating the Dutch for the third time in a row at the Champions Trophy, 48 hours after a 5-3 over the Germans.
Captain Seo Jong Ho got the 2-1 winner with two minutes left after Hong Eun Seong converted a penalty corner in the 26th to cancel out the Dutch lead from Roderick Weusthof.
"I feel we were controlling the game. Actually we were so tired in the second half and it was harder to attack. But Netherlands made a lot of mistakes, so we were lucky to win," said Seo.(DPA)
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