AusvsSpain

The Kookaburras will face world number nine Spain in the quarter-finals of the FIH Men’s World League Final in Bhubaneswar  on Wednesday.

World number two Australia finished third in Pool B with three draws and will meet the Spanish who ended Pool A ranked second with two wins.

Spain all but sealed second spot with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over world number one Argentina on Tuesday night. Belgium’s 3-0 win over the Netherlands in the later game confirmed their spot as Pool A winners and Spain as runners-up.

The Kookaburras drew 1-1 with India, 2-2 with Germany and 2-2 with England in their three pool matches.

Australia and Spain last met at the World League Semi-Final in Johannesburg in July with the Kookaburras winning both matches, including an 8-1 win in the third place match.

The winner of the Australia-Spain quarter-final will meet either Germany or the Netherlands in the semi-finals on Friday or Saturday.

Kookaburras head coach Colin Batch said the World League Final was an opportunity to learn how players handled the pressure that an eight-team tournament brought.

This is Australia’s final event of 2017 ahead of a big year where they will compete at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 World Cup.

“This is a good opportunity to play against European teams and to test where we’re at after a lot of changes this year in the squad,” Batch said.

Speaking about Australia’s ambition at the World League Final, Batch added: “It’s no different to any other tournament where we go to perform to our best.

“We’re also assessing players in their capacity to play against the other top nations in the world.

“We always go out there to win every game we play, so nothing changes.”

Quarter-Finals:

  • Spain v Australia, 10.45pm AEDT Wednesday 6 December
  • Belgium v India, 1am AEDT Thursday 7 December
  • England v Argentina, 10.45pm AEDT Thursday 7 December
  • Germany v Netherlands, 1am AEDT Friday 8 December