AUSTRALIA made up for the disappointment of finishing third at the London Olympics by winning a thrilling Champions Trophy final against the Netherlands in Melbourne yesterday.
Kieran Govers fired in the gold-medal winning goal in the fifth minute of extra time to give his side a 2-1 win and ensure a fifth straight Champions Trophy crown.
The Dutch scored first courtesy of Sander Baart following a penalty corner with 17 minutes to play in the first half, before Russell Ford's equaliser after another penalty corner was ruled in the 32nd minute.
The Aussies enjoyed the majority of chances, but the visitors were kept in the game thanks to a series a great saves by goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann, including a saved penalty taken by Jamie Dwyer.
In the third-placed playoff, Pakistan beat India 3-2, in doing so earning its first medal at a Champions Trophy since 2004 and continuing India's 30-year medal drought at the same tournament.
Muhammad Ateeq sealed Pakistan's victory with three minutes left courtesy of a penalty corner goal.
Olympic gold medallists Germany had a tournament to forget and may need to qualify for next year's Champions Trophy in India after losing the play-off for fifth and sixth to Belgium 5-4.
Only the top five teams are given automatic entry.Belgium went to the half-time break ahead 2-0 after a double to John-John Dohmen, and added a third not long after the resumption.
Germany then struck a purple patch, banging in four goals in 20 minutes to take the lead, before the Belgians equalised thanks to a penalty goal close to full-time.
Sebastien Docket then scored his second goal three minutes into extra-time to complete a big upset for the Red Lions.
New Zealand and England also face the prospect of missing out next year, the Kiwis gaining some small consolation by downing England 3-2 in the play-off for seventh and eighth.
With Argentina joining next year's field courtesy of a win in the recent Champions Challenge, the teams that finished outside the top five will need to secure one of two wild cards to be handed out by the International Hockey Federation to take part.
Germany's Moritz Fuerste has been named the men's player of the year by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).Fuerste beat an impressive field of finalists that included Aussie star and five-time winner Jamie Dwyer, the Netherlands' Robert van der Horst, India's Sardar Singh and Fuerste's teammate Tobias Hauke.
It was the first time Fuerste, captain of the German team that won gold at the 2012 London Olympics, had taken the top honour after being nominated in 2011 and 2010.
It was a double German delight as Fuerste's Olympic teammate Florian Fuchs was named the FIH young player of the year.
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