Defending champions Australia stepped closer to their 13th Sultan Azlan Cup final appearance with a 2-1 victory over Great Britain today.
The Australians scored through Trent Mitton and Matt Dawson while Great Britain found the only goal through Mark Glenhorne.
Australia lead the table standings with 10 points – three ahead of Great Britain and India who are poised to make a strong claim for a spot in Saturday’s final.
However, Friday’s last group fixtures will determine the final standings.
The Kookaburras play Japan, Great Britain meets New Zealand and Malaysia entertains India.
The Australians and Britons got off on a cautious note in the early proceedings of this match.
The Kookaburras, ranked World No 2, have made the final 12 times since 1983 while Britain emerged champions 23 years ago - in 1994.
Australia has won the tournament nine times whilst Great Britain won bronze medals in 1987 and 2011.
Both teams have seven equal points before start of the match in this 26th edition.
The Britons went on to make the first move after Australian defender Jeremy Hayward concedes a penalty corner in the fourth minute but Ollie Willars could not find a way past Australian goalkeeper Andrew Charter as the first quarter ended 0-0.
The second quarter was greeted by a light drizzle and did not change the course of the match as the Australians and Britons went about in search of the first goal.
Australia could have earned a penalty stroke in the 25th minute when Malaysian umpire Eric Koh was sure Aaron Kleinschmidt’s strike had hit the body of postman Sam Ward.
However, this decision was annulled by the video referral umpire when the footage showed it came off Ward’s stick.
Trent Mitton, who drowned Malaysia with a hat-trick in Australia’s 6-1 win on Sunday, broke the humdrum of the evening when he lifted the ball past goalkeeper Harry Gibson in the 44th minute field goal as the nine-time champions ended the third quarter with a 1-0 lead.
The fourth quarter turned into a nail-biting finish as Great Britain saw light at the end of the tunnel with a flourish finish from Mark Gleghorne in the 51st minute to draw level 1-1 but Australia bounced back one minute later by earning their fourth penalty corner and Matt Dawson doubled the lead 2-1 with seven minutes remaining.
With this win Australia is poised to make a strong claim for a spot in the final with the Britons and Blacks Sticks lurking closely behind.