Simon Orchard scores in Olympic hockey win

MAITLAND'S Simon Orchard scored his maiden Olympic goal as Australia stepped up their quest for a hockey gold medal with a 5-0 trouncing of Spain in London on Wednesday.

Orchard struck in the 29th minute after Matt Ghodes played him into space and put him one on one with Spanish keeper Francisco Cortes, who had no chance of saving the pinpoint finish.

It was the 26-year-old's 38th goal in his 110th international.

Orchard was a dominant force from the outset, winning Australia a penalty corner in the opening minute.

The Kookaburras, who lapped South Africa 6-0 in their tournament opener, were in similar ruthless mood against Spain.

They grabbed the ascendancy early and the only surprise when Russell Ford drew first blood in the ninth minute was that the goal had not come earlier.

Four minutes later, Australia struck another psychological blow when Matthew Butturini made it 2-0.

The Spaniards called for a video review and remonstrated with the match officials but the goal stood.

Orchard's clinical strike made it 3-0 for the four-time world champions and tournament favourites at the half-time break.

He almost had a second four minutes into the second period, when a diving deflection after a Glenn Turner pass missed the right-hand post by inches.

Seconds later, Turner made it 4-0 after firing home from close range.

Orchard had another opportunity in the 55th minute after combining with Turner, but Cortes made a brave, blocked save with his pads.

He came close to scoring again five minutes from full-time, when a cheeky backhand flick narrowly cleared the cross-bar.

Seconds later, Orchard won Australia a penalty corner after he was fouled in front of goal.

Australia made it 5-0 when Eddie Ockenden scored after Orchard teed him up by trapping the ball.

The Kookaburras next face Argentina on Friday, at 5.30pm AEST.

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