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Germany crowned hockey champions
23 Aug 2008 15:33 BST

Germany put in a battling display to edge past Spain by a single goal to become Olympic champions on Saturday.

Christopher Zeller got the vital strike for the world champions in the 16th minute to secure their first gold in this event since 1992.

Spain had a good chance to equalise with 10 minutes left from a Santiago Freixa penalty corner, but the ball went sailing wide left of the goal.

Australia claimed bronze with a 6-2 win over the Netherlands in their play-off.

The silver for Spain was their third in 28 years, following their second-placed medals in 1980 and 1996.

In the bronze medal match, the world number one Australians recovered from their semi-final loss to the Spanish by scoring three goals against the Dutch in the first nine minutes.

The win was an improvement on their 6-3 triumph over Pakistan in a similar play-off for the bronze in front of their home crowd at Sydney in 2000.

In the bronze-medal match, Eddie Ockenden scored twice and Des Abbott added a third in the opening nine minutes as Australia dominated.

Taeke Taekema scored his 12th goal of the competition for the Dutch but they trailed 4-2 at half-time and Edi Matheson and Rob Hammond struck to complete a comprehensive victory.

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