HOCKEYROOS coach Paul Gaudoin would love another crack at world number one Netherlands in Sunday’s Champions Trophy final but isn’t getting ahead of himself yet.
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Australia, featuring Mollymook’s Kalindi Commerford, went down 3-nil to the impressive Dutch on Tuesday, leaving the Hockeyroos in second spot in the standings with two games to play before Sunday’s finals.
The Hockeyroos will now look to rebound against hosts China PR on Thursday from 7pm.
China defeated Argentina 2-nil on Tuesday to move within one point of the second-placed Hockeyroos, meaning Thursday’s match will be crucial to determining finals placings.
If Australia wins, they will be guaranteed a spot in Sunday’s final against the Dutch, who have won all three of their games in the Champions Trophy so far.
A draw will mean Australia’s fate will come down to their final group game against Japan on Saturday.
“I hope to meet them [Netherlands] in the final ideally but we’ve got to deal with China and Japan first,” Gaudoin said.
“We know this tournament is game by game – we know we can improve.
“Two more matches, we’ll see where things are then.”
The Dutch have a dominant record over the Hockeyroos over the past five years, but Australia almost stunned them in the World Cup semi-finals in July.
Georgina Morgan netted a last quarter drag flick to clinch a 1-all draw in the World Cup semi, before the Dutch won in a tense shootout.
Gaudoin said they’d take a lot from that match and encouraged his side to have ‘belief’ that they can beat the top-ranked Dutch.
“There’s a lot of history with the Dutch team,” Gaudoin said.
“There was a chink in their armour that we found at the World Cup.
“We’ve got to keep believing we can match it with the best in the world.”
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