All the news for Wednesday 1 August 2012
London 2012 Olympic Games - Hockey Competition Results
Tuesday 31 July 2012
Pool, Time, Match, Result
A 08:30 Netherlands vs. Japan 3-2
B 10:45 South Africa vs. New Zealand 1-4
A 13.45 Belgium vs. China 0-0
A 16:00 Great Britain vs. Korea 5-3
B 19:00 Argentina vs. USA 0-1
B 21.15 Germany vs. Australia 1-2
Great Britain survives Korean scare
Dutch also stay unbeaten; Belgium picks up first Olympic point
Things are looking rosy for the unbeaten Great Britain team. (Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)
The defending Olympic Champion, the Netherlands, first in the FIH World Ranking had a hard time topping Japan, but eventually earned a 3-2 victory. The Dutch opened their 2012 Olympic campaign with a win over Belgium, 3-0, while Japan, ranked 9th in the world, suffered a severe defeat against host Great Britain, 0-4.
The Dutch women were fast of the blocks in the chilly and rainy early morning, and Kim Lammers had a first chance within the first minute of play. She was on target soon after, receiving in front of the empty net a pass from Kitty van Male who had run through the whole Japanese defense on the right of the circle. Lammers could have added a similar goal a few minutes later, but the ball just eluded her stick after a spectacular dive.
The steady rain was affecting the pace of play and half way through the period the Japanese took advantage of some unusual unforced errors from the Dutch defense to create dangerous situations in the circle. They earned a penalty-corner that they failed to control, then they took control of play. Ellen Hoog added a second goal after an outstanding move to eliminate two defenders and slam a reverse shot that surprised Sakiyo Asano in the Japanese goal.
The second period resumed in the same unspectacular way. The crowd bundled up in colorful ponchos were finally given an opportunity to cheer when Kim Lammers scored her second goal of the day (her fourth of the tournament) from a golden pass by Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel after a decisive run on the backline. Japan scored their first goal of the Olympic competition soon after by Rika Komazawa, on hand at the far post to deflect a cross that had eluded all the defenders. They immediately added a second goal on a penalty-corner, Aki Mitsuhashi deflecting the ball from close range above Joyce Sombroek in the Dutch goal.
With 15 minutes to go, the match did not seem a formality any more for the defending Olympic Champions, and the Japanese and Dutch fans became more vocal to push the teams. Lidewij Welten nearly added a fourth goal after a powerful run through the Japanese defense but saw her shot rebound on the post. The end of match was tense and passionate, with the Japanese pushing desperately for the equalizer and the Dutch using all their experience to keep them at bay and protect their narrow lead until the final hooter.
The Netherlands grab their second win of the competition, but surely will not be satisfied with their lacklustre performance of the day.
For more information on NED v JPN, click here.
Belgium vs. China: 0-0 (half-time: 0-0)
The Belgium women earned their first-ever Olympic point today with a well-deserved 0-0 draw against China. The draw was a big surprise to the Chinese, who looked extremely solid in their victory against Korea on Sunday.
Belgium started well, displaying excellent skills. They pushed the Chinese back on their heels and earned an early penalty-corner. Stephanie de Groof slotted a powerful strike out of reach of Chinese keeper Zhang Yimeng, but the goal was denied after a video-referral. Most of play in the opening twenty minutes was in the Chinese defensive half, with a few good opportunities for the Belgians, but the Chinese weathered the storm with experience.
Belgium defended well four penalty-corners against expert flicker Ma Yibo and half-time was reached on a goalless score. The same balanced pattern prevailed at the start of second period. Belgium had a penalty-corner but could not do much of it in front of the fast Chinese runners. They were however playing with poise and skills, and a neutral observer could not have guessed that they were ranked 11 rows behind the Chinese in the World Rankings.
China progressively increased the pressure in the last 15 minutes of the match, played mostly in the Belgian half, but the Belgian defense, well backed by young Aisling D'Hoogue in goal, held tight. The Belgian fans in the stands were starting to see a possible exploit for their team, and the whole crowd were cheering for the underdogs in the final minutes. They forced a penalty-corner with one minute left on the clock and Stephanie de Groof’s shot shaved the outside of the post. Nevertheless, the Cinderella of the competition held on for the 0-0 tie, an excellent result for them.
For more information on BEL v CHN, click here.
Great Britain vs. Korea: 5-3 (half-time: 2-1)
The Great Britain women continued to impress its home fans after earning a 5-3 win in a see-saw match against Korea in the second Olympic outing for both teams. With the game tied at three, the hosts scored two goals just over a minute apart to earn their second win in this Olympic tournament.
Georgi Twigg and Chloe Rogers netted the key goals with less than ten minutes left in regulation. Both were the result of solid second efforts and fancy stick work. Great Britain had the game well in control for much of the 70 minutes, but a lapse midway through the second half allowed Korea to edge into the game, creating some tense moments for the partisan crowd.
Nicola White got things rolling just five minutes in when she single-handedly streaked down the right wing, zigzagging around the Korean defense and finishing the play by slipping the ball past goalkeeper Jang Soo Ji. Korea equalized when they found themselves in rare territory in front of the British net. Kim Darae tapped in the easy shot from point blank range.
Crista Cullen restored the spark to the GB when she fired in a penalty corner shot for the 2-1 lead, which stood through the half. Just a minute later Korea pulled goalkeeper Jang Soo Ji in favor of Moon Young Hui.
Great Britain got things started on the right foot in the second half. Just three minutes after the break, Alex Danson gave her team its biggest lead of the match when her penalty corner shot popped up and over the leg of Moon Young Hui. Danson’s day wasn’t all roses, she was carried off the field on a stretcher in the waning moments of the game after sustaining an injury.
But Korea wasn’t finished, as they staged a comeback shortly after the 3-1 goal went in. Han Hye Lyoung ripped a shot in after scooping up the rebound on a penalty corner attempt and four minutes later Park Mi Hyun tied things up when she was left unmarked in front of the British net to finish a tic-tac-toe play.
The win was a big boost for the GB team, which was playing without captain Kate Walsh, who sustained a injury to the jaw in the opening match and is questionable to return to action. But with Danson added to the injury list, the boost may be short lived, depending on her prognosis.
For more information on GBR v. KOR, click here.
Americans and Aussies deliver surprises
New Zealand still unbeaten
2012 Olympic Games (women), London. (Photo: Grant Treeby)
South Africa vs. New Zealand: 1-4 (half-time: 0-3)
New Zealand cruised to its second win of this Olympics with a 4-1 victory against South Africa. It was the second loss for the South Africans, who have conceded 11 goals in their first two outings.
New Zealand did not waste time to stake their claim on the game, forcing a penalty-corner on their first attack. It was perfectly executed, birthday girl Charlotte Harrison deflecting from close range the initial shot by Kayla Sharland. They then had four unsuccessful penalty-corner attempts before Clarissa Eshuis finally scored on the next one with a direct shot to widen the gap to two goals.
The Black Sticks had a good handle on the game and the South Africans were struggling to get out of their own half. On one of their lone incursions in New Zealand territory, Pietie Coetzee showed why she is a lethal goal hunter, nearly scoring from an innocuous chance created by a pass from Marsha Marescia. The next goal was however again for New Zealand, after a long video-referral to decide if Kayla Sharland’s shot was indeed within the shooting circle.
The second period started with a chance for Coetzee well handled by Bianca Russell in goal for New Zealand. South Africa pushed valiantly to create opportunities and were rewarded by a penalty-stroke when Jennifer Wilson was fouled in the circle. Coetzee scored to celebrate her 250th appearance in a South African jersey in style.
The Black Sticks weathered the storm and Sharland promptly re-established the three-goal lead with a powerful reverse shot blasted from a narrow angle. Theyearned some mixed reaction from the crowd when they started to waste time in the final minutes despite their comfortable lead, but were happy to end the day with maximum points in Pool B standings.
Before the match, Coetzee was honored for her 250th international Cap.
For more information on RSA v NZL, click here.
Argentina v. United States 0-1(half-time 0-1)
The women’s Olympic tournament had its first major upset today when the United States topped defending World Champion Argentina 1-0 in Pool B action. The win splits both teams’ records as each now have a win and a loss.
The meeting highly anticipated as billed as the grudge match after the Americans topped Argentina 4-2 in the final game of the Pan American games to earn their berth to London. That win was one of the biggest upsets that Argentina had ever suffered at the continental level and many expected the Argentines to extract their revenge today.
But America made it two in a row today and staked its claim in both this London tournament and back home in the Pan American continent.
The pace of the first half was quick with the teams evenly matched, but it was the Americans that always seemed to have the upper hand. With seven minutes left in the half, the U.S. was rewarded for its efforts when Michelle Vittese threaded a nice pass to Shannon Taylor who made a sprawling effort for the tip-in goal and the early 1-0 lead.
The Americans opened the second half with three straight unsuccessful penalty corners, and spent the rest of the half fending off an increasingly dangerous Argentine attack. But despite some fantastic opportunities, Argentina could not find a way to get on the board as Lauren Crandall earned her keep and helped the Americans hold on for the 1-0 victory.
For more information on ARG vs. USA, click here.
Germany vs. Australia 3-1 (half-time 1-1)
Australia picked up its first points at the 2012 Olympics after a 3-1 win against Germany. The game was the second surprise of the day in the competitive Group B after the Americans defeated Argentina.
Germany got on the board nine minutes into action, cleanly converting its first penalty corner chance of the game. Katharina Otte played put in the 1-0 goal from the post, silencing the strong contingent of Australian fans.
Australia perked up after falling behind and peppered the German goal. Their efforts were finally reward when Hope Munro tied the game at one after putting in a rebound. This time it was Germany’s turn to bump their efforts up a notch and they did just that, spending the rest of the half, especially the last five minutes keeping Australian goalkeeper Toni Cronk on her toes. But Cronk held her ground and both teams had to settle for a 1.1 draw at the break.
Australia took its first lead of the game 10 minutes into the second half when Anna Flanagan fired the ball into the upper corner of the net on a short corner chance. The lead doubled within another ten minutes when Fiona Boyce deflected in the 3-1 goal on a penalty corner shot by Flanagan.
Australia’s win creates a traffic jam of teams sitting at three points. Argentina, Germany, USA and Australia are all tied with three points in the tightly packed Group B. New Zealand leads the group with six points and South Africa is bringing up the rear with no points.
For more information on GER vs. AUS, click here.
Unstoppable Great Britain put five past Korea
It was another scintillating evening at the Riverbank Arena as the Great Britain women continued their winning ways with a 5-3 victory over Korea to secure their place at the top of Pool A.
Slough’s Nicola White marked her second Olympic appearance by opening the scoring with her first goal for Great Britain. Kim Darae pulled one back for Korea before Leicester’s Crista Cullen ensured her side went into the break 2 – 1.
The second half saw another five goals; Alex Danson, Georgie Twigg and Chloe Rogers were all on the score sheet for Great Britain while Korea’s Han and Park tried to pull their side back into it, but it was not enough.
Speaking after the game, Great Britain Head Coach Danny Kerry was pleased with his team’s performance, "Everyone knows that Korea are serious semi final candidates. I thought the girls got on the front foot and converted their opportunities very well. It would have been easy to let Korea roll us over when the game was at 3-3, but we didn't and that's a testament to our girls."
With Great Britain Captain Kate Walsh still in hospital recovering from an operation on a fractured mandible, her Reading teammate Helen Richardson stepped in to take the armband.
Great Britain controlled the play in the opening period and their dominance was rewarded after just five minutes when Slough’s Nicola White opened the scoring for Great Britain. From just inside the Korean’s half, White went on a driving run, eliminating two Korean players before entering the top of the circle. Her clean, powerful strike at goal was an awkward height for Korean’s goalkeeper Jang Soo Ji, who was indecisive in whether to clear the ball with her pad or glove. In the end she did neither, and the ball sneaked through into the back of the net to give Great Britain a deserved 1 – 0 lead.
Great Britain continued to dictate the play and closed their opponents down effectively, giving them no time on the ball. Korea were unable to keep possession and struggled to create attacking chances or break down GB’s solid defence. However on the 17th minute, against the run of play, Korea enjoyed some good build up play which resulted in the ball falling to Kim Darae, who made no mistake in equalising, sweeping the ball decisively past Reading’s Beth Storry.
Great Britain spread the play well throughout the first half and in the 24th minute, were awarded a penalty corner as Leceister’s Chloe Rogers strong stick skills forced the Korean player into committing a foul. Her club teammate Crista Cullen stepped up and fired the ball low into the bottom right hand corner, for her 28th Great Britain goal to restore her side’s lead at 2 – 1.
Two minutes later, Korea substituted their goalkeeper Jang Soo Ji for replacement Moon Younghui. The score line remained at 2 – 1 as the sides went in for half time.
Korea came out the blocks quickly in the second half and applied pressure in Great Britain’s defensive final third. However, it was GB who took the initiative and went into a 3 – 1 lead in the 37th minute. A stick tackle on Sarah Thomas led to a well worked penalty corner and resulted in a fantastic goal. Cullen’s low drag flick aimed at the P-spot was met by a diving Alex Danson, who deflected the ball expertly into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
Despite the two goal deficit, Korea continued to fight and pressed the Great Britain players, forcing them to make mistakes and lose possession. In the 51st minute their determination was rewarded as they won a penalty corner. The initial strike was well-saved by Storry but the rebound fell kindly to Han Hye Lyoung who powered the ball home from close range to take the score to 3 – 2.
With 13 minutes remaining on the clock Korea, still pushing hard, found Great Britain on the back foot and pulled the score back to 3 – 3. A great pass from Jeon Yu Mi found an unmarked Park Mihyun on the back post who finished first time, leaving Storry with no chance.
Despite losing their two goal lead in the space of seven minutes, the animated crowd continued to cheer on their team, ensuring the players didn’t let their heads drop. In the 59th minute Kim Youngran was shown a green card and Great Britain capitalised on their one man advantage. A high tackle on Leceister’s Hannah Macleod resulted in a penalty corner and with Cullen not on the pitch, Loughborough Students’ Laura Unsworth and Reading’s Helen Richardson stepped up to the top of the circle. Initially the corner routine did not go to plan as the ball out was not controlled. However Richardson battled to win the ball back and laid it off to Reading’s Laura Bartlett, who cleverly aimed the ball to the back post where Clifton’s Georgie Twigg was waiting. Twigg calmly controlled the ball, turned, and finished on her reverse side, restoring GB’s lead and taking the score to 4 – 3.
In the final minutes Rogers re-established Great Britain’s two goal lead to the delight of the crowd and ensured they would be going back to the Athlete’s Village with all three points. Excellent stick work from Thomas down the left-side saw her set up Bartlett, who delivered a precise reverse stick cross to the back post, leaving Rogers with an easy finish.
The crowd showed their concern towards the end when Reading’s Alex Danson injured her ankle after a tackle with a Korean player. However, it has since been confirmed that the injury isn’t too serious. With no further goals, the match finished 5 – 3.
Speaking after the game, Great Britain goal scorer Georgie Twigg was delighted. “The crowd has just been absolutely fantastic and it’s just great to go out there and get another win. When we got to 3 - 3 we showed a real sense of true grit and determination. To score another two goals is just fantastic. It’s an exciting time for us. We know that every game is going to be difficult. Each team has different standards and I think we showed great determination to come back.“
With two wins out of two under their belt, Great Britain sit at the top of Pool A. Their next match at the Riverbank Arena sees them take on Belgium at 19.00 on Thursday 2nd August.
Meanwhile, the Great Britain men are looking for their second victory tomorrow afternoon (1st August – 16.00) with their next pool match against South Africa.
Statement about Great Britain Captain Kate Walsh
Kerry also commented on Great Britain captain Kate Walsh’s condition. "Kate is doing well and I'm optimistic that she'll be back in the Olympic Village tomorrow (Wednesday). The surgeon says that her jaw is now stronger than it was before and does not pose a risk to her playing. She is staying in hospital until tomorrow so that doctors can monitor her recovery from the anaesthetic and how much pain she is in."
GREAT BRITAIN 5 (2)
Nicola White 5 (F)
Crista Cullen 24 (PC)
Alex Danson 37 (PC)
Georgie Twigg 60 (PC)
Chloe Rogers 61 (F)
KOREA 3 (1)
Kim Darae 17 (F)
Han Hye Lyoung 51 (PC)
Park Mihyun 56 (F)
GREAT BRITAIN WOMEN’S SQUAD v JAPAN
Beth Storry (Reading) [Goalkeeper]
Emily Maguire (Reading) [Defender]
Sally Walton (Bowdon Hightown) [Defender]
Crista Cullen (Leicester) [Defender]
Ashleigh Ball (Slough) [Midfielder]
Nicola White (Slough) [Forward]
Sarah Thomas (No Club) [Forward]
Laura Unsworth (Reading) [Defender]
Helen Richardson (Reading) [Midfielder]
Georgie Twigg (Clifton) [Midfielder/Forward]
Alex Danson (Reading) [Forward]
Hannah Macleod (Leicester) [Midfielder]
Anne Panter (Leicester) [Defender]
Chloe Rogers (Leicester) [Midfielder]
Laura Bartlett (Reading) [Midfielder]
Did not Play
Great Britain Hockey media release
Great Britain's women's hockey team score dramatic 5-3 victory against South Korea
By Jessica Winch
Delighted: Crista Cullen scores from a penalty corner to push Great Britain ahead Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Great Britain women's hockey team beat Korea in dramatic fashion at the Riverbank Arena this afternoon, with a flurry of goals in the second half and another injury to a key player.
After helping her side to a 5-3 lead, star forward Alex Danson had to be carried off the pitch on a stretcher after injuring her left ankle in a tackle with minutes left to play.
Nicola White scored her first goal for Great Britain in the opening minutes, firing the ball through the legs of the Japanese goalkeeper.
Korea’s Darae Kim equalised the score after a defensive error from Great Britain, but with just over ten minutes left to play in the first half Crista Cullen scored from a penalty corner to push Great Britain ahead again, after great opening play from Georgie Twigg and Chloe Rogers.
The British side came out in fighting in the second half, with Alex Danson scoring from a penalty corner to take their lead to a more comfortable 3-1.
They were soon on the defensive as Korea scored twice to equalise, but with ten minutes to go Georgie Twigg reversed the ball into goal, followed minutes later by a goal from Chloe Rogers.
The team played without their captain Kate Walsh as she remained in hospital recovering from jaw surgery.
Midfielder Helen Richardson, another extremely experienced hockey player, took on the captaincy for the match.
Walsh, who has captained Great Britain since 2003, was accidentally hit by an opponent’s stick during their Olympic match against Japan on Sunday evening. The official twitter account for Great Britain hockey ran a hashtag during the match, #winforkate.
Goal scorer Chloe Rogers said the team had played for their captain. “She’s a fantastic player, she’s our captain, she’s our leader. But we’ve got other great players around her who can step up to the mark and deal with it.
“You’re always going to miss a great player but we dealt with it and we did that for her today.”
Britain becomes medal contender with second win
By Annika Breidthardt
LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - Britain's women's hockey team started to resemble serious Olympic medal contenders on Tuesday after a dramatic 5-3 victory over South Korea put them top of their group.
They were helped by Belgium holding Beijing silver medallists China to a goalless draw.
Britain clearly missed their defensive powerhouse and captain Kate Walsh, who had surgery on Monday after breaking her jaw in the last minutes of the 4-0 victory over Japan but who has vowed to return later in the competition.
"The surgeon has said that her jaw has titanium plates in it and is stronger than it was previously so there is no medical risk to her playing," Britain coach Danny Kerry told reporters.
Britain could have closed out the game earlier but allowed the Koreans to equalise twice. With 14 minutes to go and the score at 3-3 the home crowd were getting nervous before Georgie Twigg and Chloe Rogers brought Britain home.
"This team has bucketloads of character and resilience and hopefully this will stand us in good stead," said Crista Cullen.
Britain have improved in the world rankings from ninth four years ago to fourth now and are looking one of the fittest teams at the Games.
They lead the Netherlands, ranked world number one, in Group A on goal difference.
Outsiders Belgium defended superbly to hold China, who now trail the leaders by two points with three matches left to play before the semi-finals.
GROUP B SURPRISES
In Group B, two teams tipped as medal contenders lost, leaving New Zealand as the only side with two wins and four of six teams on three points.
The United States landed a surprise by beating Argentina 1-0, while Germany lost to Australia.
The United States scored late in the first half and managed to keep Argentina's captain Luciana Aymar, dubbed the Maradona of hockey, quiet for much of the match.
Not having found a way into the game in the first half, Argentina were unlucky in the second, missing several penalty corners and chances from free play.
"We tried a lot to go in from all angles, with shots, short corners. Their biggest virtue is to defend, all at the back, interrupting play and that bothers us," said Aymar, who has been voted world player of the year seven times.
"We want to score goals and make nice moves. For us it's strange to play against the United States."
The U.S. qualified for the Olympics via a surprise victory over Argentina in last year's final of the Pan-American Games.
Black Sticks Women win 4-1 against South Africa
The Black Sticks Women have beaten South Africa 4-1 in their second game of the Olympics at the Riverbank Arena, London.
It was thanks to two goals from co-captain Kayla Sharland, a goal from birthday girl Charlotte Harrison and a superb drag flick from Clarissa Eshuis as well as some tight defence that helped to secure another three points for the Kiwi side.
Black Sticks coach Mark Hager said he was pleased with the first half performance but the second half was not as strong as he had hoped.
“There wasn’t a weak link in that first half, we played well, but in the second half I thought we struggled big time to control the ball.”
“We always said that if we had six or four points from the first two games we would be happy. We have done that, so at least we have given ourselves a chance,” says Hager.
But Hager is under no illusions that there are some hard yards to go.
“We have three very tough games coming up [in pool play]. Our next game is against Argentina, they are a quality well-disciplined side, we want a win, but it is up to us how we perform and play on the day.”
In a first half packed full of penalty corners, the Black Sticks started the game just like their last with a goal in the second minute, this time coming from Charlotte Harrison who converted a penalty corner.
"I'm so chuffed. When I heard the call for the corner I was pretty nervous, but it was my chance to shine. Kayla hit it really well though, so it would have been pretty hard to miss," says Harrison who turns 23 today.
Drag flicker Clarissa Eshuis fired one to the left hand corner of the goal in the 22nd minute, and the final goal of the half came from co-captain Kayla Sharland in the 29th minute despite much deliberation from the video referee about whether she was in fact inside the circle.
South Africa came out firing in the first 15 minutes of the second half, but some good tight defence from New Zealand prevented them from scoring. South Africa’s goal came in the 52nd minute from Pietie Coetzee who scored from a penalty stroke.
Sharland extended the lead to 4-1 in the 61st minute when she rocketed the ball to the back of the net and secured the win.
The Black Sticks Women play their next game against second ranked Argentina at 8.15am on Friday 3 August. They are also still to play tenth ranked United States and third ranked Germany in pool play.
New Zealand 4 (Charlotte Harrison, Clarissa Eshuis, Kayla Sharland x2), South Africa 1 (Pietie Coetzee). HT: 3-0
Hockey New Zealand Media release
SA hockey women suffer another loss
Pietie Coetzee of South Africa (centre) in action against New Zealand. Getty Images
London – The South African women's hockey side lost the second consecutive match of their London Olympic campaign 4-1 to world No 6 New Zealand in London on Tuesday.
Having suffered a heavy 7-1 loss to Argentina in their Olympic opener on Sunday, South Africa set out to get their campaign back on track at the Riverbank Arena and raise themselves off the bottom of the pool B standings.
New Zealand, meanwhile, headed into the fixture fresh from a surprise 1-0 victory over old rivals Australia on the opening day to stand them in good stead for the knock-out rounds.
New Zealand stuck up their hands as major medal contenders as they rarely looked troubled in defence and in the middle of the park where they controlled possession throughout.
South Africa were off to a bad start as the Black Sticks scored just two minutes into the game from their first of seven penalty corners for the half.
Captain Kayla Sharland dispatched a pinpoint pass to the far post, finding Charlotte Harrison unmarked, with Harrison slotting home past South African goalkeeper Mariette Rix after a well-worked penalty corner routine.
New Zealand looked in full control in the opening period, as their impressive defensive unit led from the back, building momentum for their attackers, while easily dealing with any South African attempts at goal.
The Kiwis stretched their lead to two with 20 minutes on the clock through their sixth penalty corner, which Clarissa Eshuis converted expertly into the bottom right corner of Rix's goal, leaving the keeper with no chance.
South African striker Pietie Coetzee – in her 250th international Test – had the best chance of the half for South Africa as she deflected a superb cross from Tarryn Bright at New Zealand goalkeeper Bianca Russel, who had no problem in dealing with the Coetzee's effort.
The Black Sticks were awarded a controversial goal six minutes from the break as Sharland appeared to have scored, before South African skipper Marsia Marescia called for a video referral, claiming the goal was scored from outside the area.
However, the appeal was turned down and New Zealand's third goal stood, leaving the South Africans 3-0 down at the break.
South Africa came out into the second period looking more composed and seemed to settle into their structures better than in the first.
Coetzee continued to be a thorn in the Kiwis' side as she marked her milestone with a goal from a penalty stroke, after Jen Wilson was bundled over in the New Zealand area.
With eight minutes to play, New Zealand all but killed the contest when Sharland bagged her second of the match after a good run into her opponents' half, before unleashing a rocket at goal which beat Rix high to her right.
Pietie scores again but Black Sticks put four past SA
By Mark Etheridge in London
Yet another goal from prolific Pietie Coetzee in her 250th Test was still not enough to prevent South Africa suffering their second women’s hockey defeat at the Olympic Games in London on Tuesday.
Giles Bonnet’s girls went down 4-1 to New Zealand in their Group B fixture at the Riverbank Arena.
The South Africans trailed 3-0 at the break after the Black Sticks struck as early as the second minute from a Samantha Harrison penalty stroke.
Two more goals followed from Clarissa Eshuis and Kayla Sharland before the interval.
Coetzee netted from the seven-metre spot in the 52nd minute but Kiwi captain Sharland dashed any South African hopes with New Zealand’s fourth goal in the 61st minute.
South Africa lost their opening fixture 7-1 to Argentina at the weekend and Bonnet put on a brave face after Tuesday’s loss.
“In the second half we played like I expect them to play but we didn’t start well and it didn’t help that we went a goal down so early. We had expected them to come up with that play but it was unlucky for us to concede.
“As I said we played well in the second half but we just couldn’t get that goal. Even at 3-1 down I thought we were still in it and could get back to 3-3 but it didn’t happen that way. We need to play for the entire 70 minutes.”
And Bonnet, while refusing to make excuses said there had to be understanding for this team.
“We are the 12th ranked team at this tournament and have to be realistic. Ideally I would have liked to be in the other group because we have beaten three of the teams there but there’s nothing we can do about that.. it really is the luck of the draw!
“New Zealand defended really well today and we must realise that they’ve been at the top end of women’s hockey since 2009, They’re an enormously experienced team.
“I think that this team will continue to grow and probably reach their peak at the World Cup in the Netherlands in 2014.”
Next up for captain Marsha Marescia and her weary warriors are Germany on Thursday followed by games against Australia and United States.
Marescia was sporting some battle scars after the match and said Bonnet: “She’s exhausted .. she must have run about 14 kilometres out there today.
The one run they’ll be looking at putting an end to is the losing run but in Germany they are going to find it even tougher going.
SASCOC Road to London
SA unhappy about referral call
Controversy marred the the fixture between the South African women’s hockey team and New Zealand yesterday.
LONDON – The match ended 4-1 to the Black Sticks, but it may well have been a different story had the video referral system, meant to eradicate poor decisions by the on-field umpires, been better scrutinised by the third umpire.
The South Africans were under pressure inside the opening minutes as Charlotte Harrison netted New Zealand’s first goal from a penalty corner in the second minute.
From then on, captain Marsia Marescia’s side were chasing the game and 20 minutes later found themselves 2-0 down as Clarissa Eshuis converted from a penalty corner opportunity.
New Zealand’s third goal was the turning point in the contest with Kay Sharland’s strike referred to the video umpire after her shot – which looked like it had been taken from outside the D – went in.
The on-field umpire ruled that the ball had deflected off a New Zealand stick but Marsecia asked for the referral and after some delay it was decided that the goal should stand, albeit without crystal clear evidence, as the third umpire could offer no advice.
The score stayed 3-0 until the halftime break and in the second stanza the South Africans improved drastically as they looked to get back into the contest.
In her 250th Test, striker Pietie Coetzee was able to pull a goal back from the penalty spot in the 51st minute and from there on the South Africans pushed hard.
While they managed to dictate the pace of the game and enjoyed the bulk of the possession in the second half, they simply couldn’t turn the pressure into clear-cut goal scoring opportunities and Sharland’s second goal 15 minutes from time sealed their fate.
“The two times we referred, the video that we were seeing in the stands was not the thing we had referred and wasn’t in reference to the question we were asking,” said Marescia.
“In both instances we had a specific question which is what we are advised to ask. What the video showed was of a different area of the field. It’s too ambiguous.
It’s something that’s always going to be a challenge because already there’s a language barrier. It’s such a long process.”
But her issue with the fact that the on-field footage didn’t support the final decision was clarified by the International Hockey Federation’s head of media Jenny Wiedeke.
“What you see on the (big) screen is meant for essentially entertainment purposes and that we’re clarifying with the teams after this. That was a cause for a lot of the comments and confusion, if you will, as they looked up at the screen,” said Wiedeke.
“The feed that the video umpire has is completely different. The sports presentation department has maybe three replays. The video umpire has about 10 different feeds and 18 different angles.”
The world’s 12th-ranked side have a tough fixture against world No 3 Germany tomorrow.
South Africa's video referee complaint
South Africa coach Giles Bonnet is set to make a formal complaint about the standard of video refereeing in his team's 4-1 defeat by New Zealand.
Teams are allowed a specific question when they ask for a video referral of a goal and not for a general review.
South Africa claim Russian umpire Elena Eskina misunderstood the complaint about New Zealand's third goal.
"It is appalling. It is a farce that they scored a goal that is not a goal," said Bonnet.
"I'll ask the technical delegate and we will make a complaint but in terms of the result, it will mean nothing."
With a 2-0 lead, New Zealand captain Kayla Sharland found the net with a shot from the edge of the area that flew past two players.
South Africa captain Marsha Marescia claims United States umpire Amy Hassick told her the shot was made outside the "D", but had hit New Zealand's Cathryn Finlayson on the way in.
Marescia asked for a referral but said that Eskina misunderstood the nature of the query and only looked at the line incident before ruling that the goal should stand.
After South Africa pulled the score back to 3-1, Sharland found the net from the edge of the area once again but Marescia was unable to ask for another review as they had failed with an earlier referral at a penalty corner and had therefore run out of appeals.
"The language barrier can be a challenge because the question is interpreted in the wrong way," said Marescia.
"The question was interpreted incorrectly between the umpire on the field and the umpire in the video box."
International Hockey Federation communications manager Jenny Wiedeke insisted the right decisions had been made.
She said: "I think that is the source of confusion here from South Africa in terms of they weren't sure what they were asking was being reviewed as they looked on the screen.
"I am confident they got the right answer to the question they were asking."
The defeat leaves South Africa bottom of Group B with no points from their two matches, while leaders New Zealand moved on to six points from their two games.
Hockeyroos Back in Medal Hunt after Upset Win
Image: Grant Treeby
The Hockeyroos are back in business after an upset win against the world number three...
AUSTRALIA 3 d GERMANY 1
Goals: Katharina Otte(GER) PC 9m, Hope Munro(AUS) FG 20m, Anna Flanagan(AUS) PC 46m, Fiona Boyce(AUS) PC 53m.
Australia: Toni Cronk(Goal Keeper), Anna Flanagan, Teneal Attard, Madonna Blyth
Germany: Yvonne Frank(Goal Keeper), Natascha Keller, Fanny Rinne
The Hockeyroos have staged a remarkable turnaround in their Olympic campaign downing world number three Germany 3-1 at Riverbank Arena in London.
Australia started the match as underdogs after losing its first match against New Zealand 1-0 but the team came out firing.
Whatever Head Coach Adam Commens said to his charges worked and the Hockeyroos were on song from the first whistle.
The Australians had most of the possession early but it was Germany that converted first at the 9 minute mark when Katharina Otte sent home a penalty corner variation.
To Australia’s credit however, it maintained its intensity and continued to pressure the Germans defensive unit.
In the opening half Megan Rivers, Casey Eastham and Hope Munro worked the ball around well, creating plenty of opportunities.
German keeper Yvonne Frank was on fire and kept all penalty corners out before a brilliant solo run from Emily Smith resulted in Hope Munro equalising at the 20 minute mark.
The teams went to the break locked at 1-all thanks again to a handful of fantastic saves from Australian keeper Toni Cronk, who is dominating at her third Olympics.
In the second, the Hockeyroos did not let up and all players contributed to a solid performance all over the park.
Captain Madonna Blyth and Teneal Attard controlled midfield and were able to set up play for the entire match.
Australia took the lead at the 46 minute mark when defender Anna Flanagan sent home a spectacular penalty corner drag-flick that launched into the top right hand corner.
Flanagan performed well all game at the back and was rewarded for all her hard work. She was well supported by defenders Jayde Taylor, Jodie Schulz and Kate Jenner.
Australia looked like a different team tonight pressing high, taking free hits quickly, transferring and throwing overheads at the right moments and capitalising on all their opportunities.
Australia’s win was the second upset of the day with the USA, ranked 10th downing world number 2 Argentina.
This leaves New Zealand the only team with two wins and 6 points and then four teams with one win, locked on three points; Australia, Germany, Argentina and USA. South Africa has no points.
The Hockeyroos next game is on August 4 at 5.20pm(AEST)
Hockey Australia media release
US repeats Pan American Games performance
LONDON – Rewind back to last October, the biggest victory in U.S. field hockey history. Team USA had a stunning 4-2 win over defending world champion Argentina in the gold medal game of the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Some thought it was a fluke. Ranked No. 13 in the world, the U.S. was not expected to win the gold medal. But, they did.
In the second match of the preliminary rounds at the Olympic Games, the U.S. and Argentina met again. With a lot on the line and something to prove, the U.S. repeated their performance from the Pan American Games and came out with a 1-0 win.
"We were in a position where we had to get a result today, to get back on track in the tournament,” said Head Coach Lee Bodimeade. “We were fortunate to play against Argentina, a team that drives us to our best performances. We knew had to go out and do what we did in Guadalajara. It was really a terrific effort.”
The U.S. controlled the pace of the game from the start, feeding the ball through the circle and putting constant pressure on Argentina’s defense. Argentina struggled to play a composed game and appeared rattled throughout much of the first half. With seven minutes remaining, Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, NJ) threaded a pass to Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, Va.) who made a sprawling effort for the tip-in goal. The U.S. took the lead, 1-0.
Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa.) and Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, NY) were key in keeping Argentine star Luciana Aymar silent throughout the match. Amy Swensen (Grantville, Pa.) made crucial saves in net and the defense was solid in shutting down Argentina’s attack.
The U.S. opened the second half with three straight penalty corners, but were unsuccessful in registering a second goal. Argentina had a strong second half, but were unable to find an equalizer and the U.S. walked away (again) victorious over the World Champions.
"We had a really good game plan going out there and I think as a whole we executed it very well,” said Falgowski. “It is challenging and intimidating to go up against the best in the world but it is a fun thing to try and step up to do. My task was to try and disrupt Luciana in the midfield as much as possible."
"I think our teams strength is defense,” said captain Lauren Crandall. “We knew we had to bring our best performance to today’s match and we did. I think todays win was an all-around team effort but Katelyn Falgowski and Melissa Gonzalez were exceptional in holding the best player in the world (Aymar) from attacking. They both played a consistent match throughout the 70 minutes and they definitely had the tallest task for today."
Both Team USA and Argentina have one win and one loss in their pool.
The U.S. will face off against Australia on August 2 at 10:45 a.m. Australia also has one win and one loss in pool play. The matchup will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network at 5:45 a.m.
USFHA media release
USA edges out arch rival Argentina 1-0 for first win
By Jawwad Qamar
The USA women earned their first victory of the London Olympic Games by edging out Pan American rivals World Champion Argentina 1-0 in a nail biter. All USA needed was a Shannon Taylor tally at the 28th minute mark in a cautiously played first half and the veteran goalkeeper Amy Swensen took care of the rest.
After a failed penalty corner attempt in the 25th minute, the USA women were back on attack as Michelle Vittese threaded the needle with a long ball from the left, inside 20 yards, that found a rushing Shannon Taylor who lunged to tip in for 1-0 lead.
The second half started with Katie O’Donnell earning a penalty corner for the USA but Taylor’s shot was saved by the Argentinean keeper and the Americans were unable to latch on to the rebound. At this stage the USA forwards were working aggressively as the team earned two more penalty corners but were not able to increase the lead. The tide turned as Argentina started attacking with urgency in search of the equalizer earning two penalty corners in the process. However, Swensen was equal to the task thwarting numerous attempts or at times the Argentineans were off the mark shooting wide.
Luciana Aymar, considered by many as the best female hockey player in the world, was a not much of a factor for Argentina thanks to the tight marking by the Americans.
A well deserved shutout by Swensen and a first win for Team USA earning 3 important points!
The USA next faces Australia on Thursday morning. In the last pool B contest of the day, Australia in an action packed affair surprised Germany 3-1 and look in great form trying to prove that 1-0 loss against New Zealand was an aberration.
In first match of the day the Netherlands held off Japan 3-2. New Zealand took care of South Africa 4-1 while Belgium held China to scoreless draw. The host Great Britain delighted their fans by beating Korea 5-3 in a very entertaining contest scoring last two goals with less than 10 minutes left.
US beats Argentina in Olympic field hockey
Shannon Taylor and Michelle Vittese © Gallo Images
Shannon Taylor scored late in the first half Tuesday to give the United States a shocking 1-0 win over reigning world champion Argentina at the London Olympics women's field hockey tournament.
The American win was the major upset on a day that saw defending champion the Netherlands struggle to a 3-2 win over Japan and hosts Britain prevail 5-3 in an eight-goal thriller with South Korea.
While the American win was a major surprise, it was not unprecedented.
The United States got into the Olympics by beating Argentina 4-2 in last year's final at the Pan American Games - which was considered the best win in US field hockey history at the time.
On Tuesday they showed it was no fluke.
Taylor got behind the Argentine defense and tipped a ball played by Michelle Vittese into the roof of the net shortly before halftime, giving goalkeeper Florencia Mutio no chance.
The Americans controlled long stretches of play against the No 2-ranked team in the world by keeping Argentine star Luciana Aymar largely silent throughout.
"We don't like the way they play, its very physical. They foul a lot," Aymar said. "Sometimes it feels like they don't want to play."
US captain Lauren Crandall said her team set out to neutralize Aymar.
"We put our best defender on her. Aymar is the best in the world," she said. "Every team has a best player and if you don't watch them, they might not have the ball for 69 minutes, but in the last minute they score a goal."
Both teams are now 1-1 in Group B play.
Earlier, Kim Lammers took her tournament tally at her first Olympic tournament to four goals in two matches as the Netherlands beat Japan 3-2 and Britain scored twice late in its match with South Korea.
The British victory moved the hosts to the top of Group A on goal difference.
Lammers scored in each half for the Dutch and Ellen Hoog smashed in a powerful backhand shot to give the Netherlands a comfortable-looking 3-0 lead early in the second half.
But Japan fought back when Rika Komazawa, who had to leave the pitch in the first half after being hit in the face by a stick, scored in the 45th minute. Japan drew closer when Aki Mitsuhashi deflected a penalty into the Dutch net seven minutes later.
Hoog said there was room for improvement for the defending champion.
"We are satisfied with the two wins and six points, but today we were not very good so we have things we can work on," she said. "We were not playing together and as a team, and we were not very sharp."
Komazawa said her team was ruing not taking the game to the Dutch earlier.
"The tactic in the first half was to be solid in defense because Holland are stronger," Komazawa said. "We were too defensive though and should have attacked more."
Nicola White opened the scoring for Britain against South Korea before Kim Darae equalized.
Crista Cullen and forward Alex Danson then put the British 3-1 up but South Korea bounced back again with two goals of their own, from Han Hye-lyoung and Park Mi-hyun.
Georgi Twigg and Chloe Rogers scored in the space of a minute to seal the British victory.
Temporary captain Helen Richardson, who has replaced Kate Walsh as she recovers from a broken jaw suffered against Japan, attributed the late comeback to the home support.
"When we conceded a goal to make it 3-3, hearing the crowd roar and really get behind us at that point - there was no doubt we would win the game," she said.
In other matches later Tuesday, first-time Olympians Belgium held Beijing silver-medalist China to a goalless draw to win their first point of the tournament; and New Zealand beat the South African team 4-1 to move into first position in Pool B.
Kiwi captain Kayla Sharland scored two field goals, while defender Clarissa Eshuis and Charlotte Harrison - who celebrates her 23rd birthday today - both scored from penalty corners.
The Netherlands beat Japan 3-2 in Olympic hockey
LONDON: Kim Lammers scored twice as defending champion the Netherlands beat Japan 3-2 Tuesday to move to the top of Group A in the Olympic women's field hockey tournament.
Netherlands beat Belgium 3-0 in its first match on the electric blue pitch at Riverbank Arena. For Japan, it was the second defeat of the tournament after losing its opener 4-0 to host Britain.
Lammers scored in each half to bring her tournament tally to four goals and Ellen Hoog smashed in a powerful backhand shot to give the Netherlands a comfortable-looking 3-0 lead early in the second half.
But Japan fought back when Rika Komazawa, who had to leave the pitch in the first half after being hit in the face by a stick, scored in the 45th minute. Japan drew closer when Aki Mitsuhashi deflected a penalty into the Dutch net seven minutes later.
The Netherlands largely controlled play with a measured passing game, but Japan constantly put them under pressure and was dangerous on the break if it managed to force a turnover.
Lammers scored in just the fourth minute, turning in a cross from Kitty van Male, just moments after missing a nearly identical chance.
Hoog doubled the Dutch lead just before half time, turning away from a defender and giving Japan goalkeeper Sakiyo Asano no chance with her rising backhand shot.
Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel went on a storming run down the left and cut the ball back for Lammers to easily score her second of the match early in the second half.
After Japan rallied, the Netherlands again asserted its control and Lidewij Welten nearly gave the Dutch a two-goal cushion with four minutes to go, but her shot rebounded safely off the post after beating Japan goalkeeper Sakiyo Asano.
Hoog said there was room for improvement with her team.
"We are satisfied with the two wins and six points, but today we were not very good so we have things we can work on," she said. "We were not playing together and as a team, and we were not very sharp."
Komazawa said her team did not get balance its game plan well.
"The tactic in the first half was to be solid in defense because Holland are stronger," Komazawa said. "We were too defensive though and should have attacked more."
In other matches later Tuesday, South Africa was playing New Zealand, Belgium was taking on China, hosts Britain faces South Korea, Germany was playing Australia and Argentina was playing the United States in a repeat of the final of last year's Pan American Games, which the US won 4-2 in one of the biggest shocks in recent hockey history. That win earned the U.S. its ticket to the London Games.
The Times of India
Lammers’ two goals power Netherlands past Japan
LONDON : Defending Olympic champions the Netherlands Tuesday edged out a more resilient Japanese side 3-2 while New Zealand continued their impressive form when they thrashed South Africa 4-1 at the Riverbank Arena in the Olympic women's field hockey tournament.
The Dutch women were fast of the blocks in the chilly and rainy early morning, and Kim Lammers had a first chance within the first minute of play. She was on target soon after, receiving in front of the empty net a pass from Kitty van Male who had run through the whole Japanese defence on the right of the circle. Lammers could have added a similar goal a few minutes later, but the ball just eluded her stick after a spectacular dive.
The steady rain was affecting the pace of play and half way through the period the Japanese took advantage of some unusual unforced errors from the Dutch defence to create dangerous situations in the circle. They earned a penalty-corner that they failed to control then The Netherlands progressively settled their game and took control of play. Ellen Hoog added a second goal after an outstanding move to eliminate two defenders and slam a reverse shot that surprised Sakiyo Asano in the Japanese goal.
Second period resumed in the same unspectacular way. The crowd bundled up in colourful ponchos were finally given an opportunity to cheer when Kim Lammers scored her second goal of the day (from a golden pass by Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel after a decisive run on the backline. Japan scored their first goal of the Olympic competition soon after by Rika Komazawa, on hand at the far post to deflect a cross that had eluded all the defenders. They immediately added a second goal on a penalty-corner, Aki Mitsuhashi deflecting the ball from close range above Joyce Sombroek in the Dutch goal.
With 15 minutes to go, the match did not seem a formality any more for the defending Olympic champions, and the Japanese and Dutch fans became more vocal to push the teams. Lidewij Welten nearly added a fourth goal after a powerful run through the Japanese defence but saw her shot rebound on the post. The end of match was tense and passionate, with the Japanese pushing desperately for the equalizer and the Dutch using all their experience to keep them at bay and protect their narrow lead until the final hooter.
New Zealand, who stunned Australia 1-0 in their opening match, did not waste time to stake their claim on the game, forcing a penalty-corner on their first attack. It was perfectly executed, Charlotte Harrison deflecting from close range the initial shot by Kayla Sharland. They then had four unsuccessful penalty-corner attempts before Clarissa Eshuis finally scored on the next one with a direct shot to widen the gap to two goals.
100th Game for Ged Curran
Ged will umpire his 100th International game on Wednesday with New Zealand v India.
Umpiring his 100th game at the Olympic Games in London means will only be the second Scottish male, after Craig Madden, to be honoured by the FIH with a Golden Whistle and the list currently has approximately 30 people across the world achieving this honour so far.
His international career began in 1995 when he umpired his first outdoor international match in Genoa and in the last few years has umpired in World and European tournament finals. These include the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, two Champions Trophies, one in Melbourne and the other in Monchengladbach, the Champions Challenge I in Johannesburg and Challenge II in Dublin and the most recent being the Olympic Qualifier in Kakamigahara in Japan. He was also appointed as the reserve umpire for the last Men's Outdoor World Cup in New Delhi.
The main reason for Ged continuing to umpire is being able to see some of the most fantastic players the world of hockey has produced on a regular basis. He says that 'umpiring Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, India and Pakistan are very special occasions. Games between Australia and Germany are wonderful as is umpiring the likes of India and Pakistan, particularly against each other, who just want to run and attack the opposition all the time. This was especially good at the World Cup in 2010 in New Delhi, the noise of 20,000 Indian spectators can make sounds like 70,000, believe me.'
Ged will be umpiring on Wednesday at 13:45
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Kookaburras Face Tough Test Against Spain
Image: Grant Treeby
After a solid opening match the Kookaburras will face a tougher test against Spain
Game: Wednesday August 1 at 5.20pm(AEST) LIVE Foxtel and Channel Nine
AUSTRALIA V SPAIN
Pool A: Australia, South Africa, Spain, Great Britain, Pakistan, Argentina
Players to watch:
Australia: Jamie Dwyer, Fergus Kavanagh, Mark Knowles
Spain: Santi Frexia(Injured), Edi Tubau, Pol Amat
The mighty Kookaburras dominated their Olympic opener against South Africa but it will be a tougher task to defeat unpredictable Spain, tomorrow.
Spain is known for its attacking style of play and its uncanny ability to score from random opportunities.
The team is led by one of the world’s top players in captain Santi Frexia but they suffered a blow in the opening round when he broke his arm, ruling him out of the Games.
A solid performance against Pakistan however, holds the team in good stead, coming in against the Australians.
While Spain drew 1-1 with Pakistan, one could argue it could easily have won the match and alongside host nation Great Britain, it poses the greatest threat to the Kookaburras in Pool A.
Once coached by Dutch master Maurits Hendriks, who led the team to Olympic silver and World Cup bronze, since his departure their best result has been second at last year’s Champions Trophy, where they were beaten by guess who? The Kookaburras!
Other players to watch include forwards Edi Tubau and Pol Amat who are dangerous if given any time to shoot inside the attacking circle.
The Spaniards on the other hand will certainly have their hands full with the likes of five-time world player of the year Jamie Dwyer, who dominated Australia’s first match, scoring a hat-trick.
The 33-year-old equalled Australia’s all-time record as the Kookaburras highest goal scorer and his freakish ability to find the back of the net will be Spain’s biggest hurdle.
Australia did take a little while to warm up in their first match however and will need to fire from the outset against a hungry and determined outfit like Spain.
Australia’s defence led by Fergus Kavanagh and Mark Knowles was solid in their opening match and the team will again look to their co-captains for inspiration.
The Kookaburras scored just one drag flick against South Africa, with too much water on the pitch seemingly slowing down Russell Ford’s flings to the top of the circle, so Australia will be hoping to capitalise more on these opportunities.
Tip: Australia 3 d Spain 1
Hockey Australia media release
Day 4 Olympic Preview - GB v South Africa
GB men applauding london 2012
South Africa, Great Britain's next opponents in Pool A, are the lowest ranked men's side in the Olympic Games, placed at 12th.
Fixture: Great Britain v South Africa
Date and time: 01/08/12 - 16.00
Location: Riverbank Arena
Watch live on BBC: Olympics 12 (red button for Sky, Virgin and Freesat)
Great Britain #4
South Africa #12
Head to Head Record
Goals For: 23
Goals Against: 13
Great Britain has only ever faced South Africa nine times, with their first head to head being played at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, which GB won 2 - 0. At the most recent Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, GB again won 2 – 0 with James Tindall and Matt Daly netting for the side, a feat they will be hoping to repeat again today. South Africa has only beaten Great Britain once in their history, winning 5 - 3 in February 2012, in a thrilling encounter.
Player to watch: Great Britain
James Tindall Olympics 2012
London 2012 will be James’ second Olympic Games. Known around the world for his ability to score goals, James hit the target on his debut against the Netherlands in 2005 and has gone on to score in every major tournament he has been involved in since. Going into the Olympics, James has 187 international caps, scoring an incredible 77 goals. HeJames Tindall Olympics 2012 has been one of the most consistent members of the squad in recent years. James scored twice at the Olympic Test Event in May, including the opener in the bronze place play-off match against India, which Great Britain went on to win 2 – 1. Hopefully we will see James continuing to add to his impressive goals tally at the London 2012 Olympics. He didn't score on Monday in GB's 4 - 1 win over Argentina, but having netted against South Africa in the last Olympics (Beijing 2008), he will be looking to do this again today, and get his personal London 2012 goals tally underway.
Player to watch: South Africa
We asked the GB team who they considered the players to watch are:
Name: Austin Smith
Position: Centre half
Named as South African Player of the Year two consecutive times (2009 and 2010) and in the World All Star team in 2009, Smith is an extremely talented player. He is vital to the heart of the South African defence, where he demonstrates excellent leadership qualities.
Great Britain Hockey media release
Shaky India eye win over NZ to keep hopes alive
Members of the Indian Hockey team at the Olympics Games Village in London on Sunday. Photo: PTI
LONDON: Their Olympic campaign off to a losing start, erstwhile champions India would be desperate to return to winning ways against an unpredictable New Zealand in their second Group B match of the men's hockey competition on Wednesday.
Come Wednesday, the Indians will be under tremendous pressure to produce a good result against New Zealand to remain in contention for a place in the next round.
But it won't be easy as in New Zealand the Indian will be facing a side against whom they lost 1-5 just months ago. And going into the match the humiliating defeat is bound to be fresh in the memory of the Indian players.
Returning to the Olympics after a gap of eight years, eight-time champions, India lost 2-3 to The Netherlands yesterday in their opening encounter of the London Games, which has left them shaky and confused.
Against the Dutch last night, the Indian players, all but two of them making their maiden Olympic appearance, seemed tentative and jittery.
But if they wish to bring smiles back on the faces of Indian hockey fans, Michael Nobbs' boys have no other option but to get their acts together against the Black Sticks.
The Indians seemed to be content to defend in the entire first half against The Netherlands yesterday, and played their natural game only after the change of ends.
Expectedly, India's chief coach Michael Nobbs was baffled to see the way his wards got overawed by their Dutch rivals and simply forgot their natural game.
"The boys had done a lot of hard work and it was quite baffling that they did not put all the practice into play in the first half against The Netherlands," he said.
"They seemed to be starstruck or something yesterday. They obviously could not hear me yelling and screaming from the sidelines to go out and play their game," Nobbs added.
He, however, is hopeful of turning things around against New Zealand on Wednesday.
"Starting with zero point from the first match, we'll need to try extra hard against New Zealand tomorrow.
"New Zealand are a tough physical side, but we have played against them and are capable of putting up a better performance," said Nobbs, insisting that the Indian players "need to get over their nerves" to come up with an impressive show on Wednesday.
The Australian said it was only after half-time that the Indians played their natural game.
Nobbs admitted that the Indians will have to work hard to secure full three points against New Zealand, a side which is far more experienced than his team.
"New Zealand have a lot of experience. A couple of their players have played as many international matches as our entire team," he said.
"We must get over our tentative game we played at the start of the first outing against The Netherlands. We need to imbibe an aggressive attitude," the coach insisted.
India's vice-captain Sardar Singh acknowledged that the team needed improvement up-front.
"We need to improve our finishing. Our forward line was poor against The Netherlands," said Sardar.
On the other hand, New Zealand, winners of the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia two months ago, will be seeking to continue their recent supremacy over India, whom they outplayed when the two teams last played in Ipoh.
The Black Sticks are in a similar situation as India, having lost their opening match 0-2 to South Korea yesterday.
Among other teams in the group, defending champions Germany rallied after conceding an early lead to prevail 2-1 over Belgium.
New Zealand captain Dean Couzins also said that a loss in the opening match had made things difficult.
"It makes the rest of the tournament really difficult, but I think every game in this group is going to be tough," Couzins said. "I think we will knock some teams off, so we've got to keep pushing ourselves and look towards India.
Indian hockey team takes on New Zealand in pressure game
India take on New Zealand on Wednesday in what would be a key game for both teams if they hope to remain on course in the men's Olympic hockey competition.
Both teams lost their lung-openers Monday. India went down 2-3 to the Netherlands who struck the match-winner in the 51st minute, while the Kiwis were tripped by Korea's two first-half goals.
On the evidence of their performances in their respective opening matches, India appeared the better equipped than the Kiwis who, though, have a psychological advantage of winning their previous encounter 5-1 en route to winning the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia earlier this year.
The Black Sticks have brought a virtually unchanged squad to the Olympics, but did not enjoy much play against the speedy Koreans who had beaten the Kiwis 1-0 in Malaysia and were forced to adopt a defensive posture that could work against them on the morrow, given the sharp Indian attack that on its day can trouble the best of teams.
The Indian frontline's potential was well in evidence Monday, but forwards need to show greater finesse in the striking zone to win matches.
Historically, Indians have never been good starters, but if they hope to make it to the medal rounds then they cannot afford to drop too many points in the preliminary league.
The Kiwis have never looked capable of emulating their 1976 batch that won the gold medal at the Montreal Games and India would be justified to fancy their chances.
A win for India will definitely provide them a boost ahead of the two tough back-to-back games against Germany and Korea, this weekend.
Of concern for India team coach Michael Nobbs would be the side's inability to sustain their level of play in the last quarter. Against the Dutch, a draw appeared distinct possibility until the Indian defence caved in under pressure to concede the match-winner.
Though Nobbs has been at pains to emphasise that the fitness levels of his players has been good enough, India did slacken against the Dutch during the twilight period of the game and especially after drawing level at 2-2.
India can expect the Kiwis to hit hard as they too need the points and this scenario should make for a tense battle of nerves. Under the circumstances, India would need to seize the upper hand early and sustain it.
Indians hope for improved outing
London: It seems that coach Michael Nobbs has added the much needed spunk to the Indian hockey team. After taking the reins of the team last year, he has made some technical changes, the most significant of them is bringing in an attacking playing style. The tactics has come good in several important matches, especially in the qualifiers, where India scored numerous goals.
But, on Wednesday, when India take on New Zealand in the crucial group league match, the eight-time Olympic champions are unlikely to pursue the same policy. After all, any wrong move in this match can send India out of the competition as they have already lost their opener against the Netherlands.
However, for India, their opponents are also facing an early exit after losing 0-2 to South Korea.
“We are definitely going to remain cautious in the first half… The aim is not to concede early goals like in our opening match,” a source in the team said.
“If things remain on even terms in the first session, we would definitely go on the offensive,” he added.
New Zealand, too, are former Olympic champions and had beaten India in the last encounter between the two teams in the Azlan Shah Cup, the tournament they won early this year.
But despite all the odds, India will start as the favourites because of their good performance in the second half against the Dutch.
India could definitely consider themselves unlucky as they could not log any points on Monday, that too, after dishing out such an impressive performance in the second half.
But Nobbs was not too impressed. “Hockey is more about scoring goals than creating chances. Shivendra Singh alone muffed at least half a dozen opportunities,” said the coach with great disappointment.
“The boys had done a lot of hard work and it was quite baffling that they did not put all the practice into play in the first half against the Netherlands,” the coach added.
Speaking of chances, India could earn only one penalty corner against the Dutch. Much to the chagrin of the chagrin of the Indian fans, VR Raghunath wasted the penalty corner. It also minimised the role of drag flicker Sandeep Singh as he was played less than 20 minutes in the entire match.
“It is not easy to earn corners on this blue turf. Even the Netherlands also got only two,” said captain Bharat Chetri.
And converting from the penalty corners is not the only concern for Nobbs.
At the start of the Games, Nobbs emphasised on the fitness level of his players. But India did slacken against the Dutch towards the end of the game, especially after drawing level at 2-2.
Under such a scenario, India will need to seize the early initiative and sustain it throughout the match.
The Telegraph, India
FIH Media Guide gets some vital facts wrong
On the eve of New Zealand – India contest in London Olympics, the oversight of committed in the official FIH Media Guide with respect to Olympic result of these two traditional powers, cannot be over-looked.
Thankful to India, perhaps carried over by its past image, the guide shows India having won when NZ when it met India in the 1968 Olympics.
What a blunder!
Anyone who knows Indian hockey knows the Oceania teams, New Zealand and Australia, handed out crucial defeat to India at Mexico.
What more, New Zealand defeated the defending champions India in the opening match 1-2, creating in its wake a sensation. It was only second defeat for India in the annals of its Olympics, thus the Kiwis had became the only the second country after Pakistan to defeat India. Pakistan won India in the 1960 final.
This is how an official NZ publication (‘Season of Honour) describes the historic match: …the tournaments could not have started better for New Zealand which opened with a 2-1 victory over India. Following a period of converted pressure, in which Judge and McIintyre were prominent, New Zealand scored through Keith Thomson after 30 minutes and added a second goal immediately before half time when Selwyn Maister converted a penalty stroke. India pulled a goal back in the second half but NZ held on to win 2-1, the first time it had ever defeated India at the Olympics Games.
In fact, its Prithipal Singh who struck for India through a late penalty corner. The Sandeep Singh of yore was surprised when his attempt to strike the ball during the PC sequences were stopped by umpire whistle for under-cutting.
Once you get a match result wrong, the entire sequence of allied statistics go wrong, and so in this with respect to India, though it must be mentioned the over all India’s performance shown on page No. 62 stand somehow stand correct.
Again, the Guide, which otherwise gives a whole gamut of information, and is very helpful to media, makes some mistakes in assorted stats section too.
In the ‘Most lopsided Games at the Olympics’ (Page No. 64), again Indian stat is wrong. India’s defeat of Tanzania (18-0) did not find a place, instead it brags of 13-0 of India Vs Cuba.
Similarly, in the early pages too, ‘Most Goals scored in one Olympic Game’ (Page 63), Tanzania gets magnanimity, ignoring its India match, instead 11-2 by Russia Vs Cuba etc are shown.
This site however is not aware any corrigendum is issued in the MPC. Hope it is done.
India and New Zealand at Olympics
1960 defeat New Zealand 3-0
1968 Lost to New Zealand 1-2
1972 defeat New Zealand 1-2
1984 defeat New Zealand 1-0
1992 Defeat New Zealand 3-2
Pakistan’s Sohail Abbas relishing captaincy
It cannot always be about India and Pakistan, says Abbas
If there’s one thing that has been missing from Pakistan drag-flicker Sohail Abbas’ CV, it is captaining the team in an Olympic Games.
A powerhouse of talent, the world famed defender and penalty corner specialist has been the epitome of Pakistan’s famous victories in the past, and is currently world’s leading goal-scorer with close to 350 goals.
A draw against Spain in the opening game at the London 2012 has put the team on the right path, and the Green Shirts are looking ahead to a good tournament.
Abbas, who was handed captaincy after a series of turns and twists in Pakistan hockey, is relishing every minute of it.
“Allah ka shukar hai (It is God’s grace). It has taken me around 12 to 14 years of hockey to reach here and it is a huge honour for me.
“We did very well in our opening match. Though I am not satisfied without a win, it gives me happiness as a captain to see the boys put up a good fight,” Abbas said in a chat with this website.
“We committed a lot of mistakes too, but I will compliment my players as most of them are playing in the Olympics for the first time. It is big stage and it is important for us too do well here. Thank God we did not lose (the opening match),” he said.
India and Pakistan have been placed in different groups at the Olympics, and while in the past the two teams have made for fascinating duels on the field, Abbas says it was “good for the sport” and “both the teams” to play different oppositions.
“We need to play the best teams to grow and flourish. It cannot always be about India and Pakistan, and it should not be.
“I do not want anyone -- fans, my players or the media -- to only think about the games against India. Sometimes, the players and the public are content if we have beaten Pakistan. And in the process, we miss our bigger aim -- which is winning a medal at the Olympics.
“That should not happen it is good that India and Pakistan are placed in different pools here (in London),” said the 35-year old, who was the leading scorer at the 2000 Sydney Olympics with 11 goals.
Sohail also backed the Pakistan players who took part in the controversial World Series Hockey in India earlier this year, and were included in the national team at the last minute after paying hefty fines to the Pakistan Hockey Federation.
“We are like a family, and if a member of your family goes away for a few days, he still remains a part of it. I view the entire matter in this way, and thinks other should do the same.
“They are back now for Pakistan and that is best for the team. We are a strong squad as we needed experienced players. Players like Waseem (Ahmed) and Shakeel (Abbasi) add to our strength,” the drag-flicker said.
Pakistan takes on Argentina today in London
‘Pakistan should gain an early lead against Argentina’
Pakistan showed character and responsibility to ensure they make a good start to the tournament. -Photo by AP
Salman Akbar is a veteran goal-keeper who made his debut for Pakistan’s hockey team in 2001. Termed by Olympian Shahid Ali Khan as one of the most hard-working players in the game, Akbar has won the 2005 Rabo Trophy and the 2010 Asian Games gold medal with Pakistan. He was adjudged the ‘best keeper’ in both events. Here, he gives his analysis of Pakistan’s performance against Spain and previews the next match against Argentina which will take place on Wednesday at 23:00 PST.
In the end, it was a great performance by Pakistan against Spain on Monday.
After failing to achieve good results in the practice matches before the Olympics, the team showed character and responsibility to ensure they make a good start to the tournament.
Halting the Spanish Armada
There was a moment in the first half when two Pakistani players were shown the greencard and Pakistan were playing with nine players. I thought the Greenshirts had a lucky escape here as Spain failed to capitalise on the number advantage and punish Pakistan. Had it been the likes of Australia or Great Britain, they would not have let this opportunity slip, so Pakistan need to ensure they don’t make the same mistake in the future. Pakistan’s defence played really well, with some good interceptions and tackles. They played with patience and almost every time they were under threat, all the players got behind the ball and worked as a unit. This, I believe, was the key to their performance.
Spain, meanwhile, should thank their goalkeeper Francisco Cortes for keeping the score-line 0-0 until the 45th minute.
In the midfield Waseem Ahmed handled the pressure with style. However, there was still some room for improvement. For starters, they very static in defence on several occasions and the defenders were caught ball-watching, which provided Spain with the opportunity to score their equaliser within a minute of Rehan Butt’s strike. Pakistan have to be very alert, especially after scoring a goal. The build-up play from Pakistan has to improve. They failed to create chances that would threaten the Spanish defence, had a high ratio of shots missed and there was a lack of pressure on the ball-carrier.
Pakistan’s goalkeeper Imran Shah should forget about the goal he conceded and from now on, he should be under the bars with more aggression and confidence. Pakistan are playing with only one goalkeeper so Imran should get rid of the burden of the goal conceded against Spain and play with a free mind. Haseem Khan and Waqas Sharif should shed the tag of being juniors. They have gained a lot of experience over the last couple of years and it should show in their performance. Shakeel Abbasi gave a solid performance and last but not the least, Rehan did what everyone knows he is capable of.
Pakistan’s substitutions were timely and they should keep on mixing up the players in the remaining matches as well.
South American challenge
The match against Argentina is very crucial, not just for us but also the South Americans. Argentina lost to hosts Great Britain 4-1 and Pakistan will take to the field with greater confidence having drawn against a good team.
Argentina are ranked ninth in the world but this will be new day and a new match so there should be no complacency from Pakistan. While Argentina are a team we can beat with relative ease, Pakistan should be mindful that it’s not going to be a walk in a park. Argentina qualified for the Olympics after winning Pan-American Cup and had good preparation period wherein they played the final of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup only last month and lost by a slim margin (1-0) to New Zeeland. While Pakistan managed to beat them (4-2) in the first match in Malaysia, it will be a renewed challenge in London.
Argentina play a very physical game and are always on the lookout to break the attack of the opponents. In their build-up, Pedro Ibarra – who remains their most important player – deploys the technique of playing high balls, which can be very effective for his team. He is also their go-to man for penalty corners. Imran Shah should keep an eye on the low left-hand side of the goal, since that is Ibarra’s favourite angle.
Argentina play pressure hockey and create their attacks mostly with some individual play. Their defence remains a weak point but when they defend as a unit, the South Americans are extremely hard to break down. While defending, they put the maximum number of players on the ball so transferring the ball will be a key area against them.
Pakistan should start the game with running press and not allow Ibarra to be the part of their build up. Pakistan should try to gain an early lead to try and force Argentina to come out to level the score, which will give lot of space to the men in green to attack.
Argentina are not good on their left side so most of Pakistan’s attack should be from our right-hand side, with some overlaps from our right-half and right midfielder. Pakistan should play a zonal game in deep defence since Argentina are capable of creating off-the-ball moments to create the space. Here, once again, communication will be key to defend their attacks. As I said before, Argentina smash the balls in the circle for their inter-player connection so Pakistani defenders have to be in the frontal position.
Formation and team selection
Pakistan should play with three strikers once again but in the midfield, they should keep an extra man who can turn into an attacker while building up and revert to being a midfielder while defending. This tactic will also help Pakistan create a good running press. Shakeel Abbasi is the best man for this job as he can also overload the right side to attack more from there.
Our midfield should remain same as Waseem did a great job against Spain and we need him to remain on the field for as long as possible. Rizwan Junior should play right-half as he is an attacking option and Sohail Abbas should play as a free man in the deep defence with Muhammad Irfan as a marker. Imran Shah has to be very alert as his support can make the game very easy for Pakistan. Penalty-corner defence should be alert for the indirect variations. Here, Rizwan Senior and Irfan are doing a good job as first-runners. For Pakistan, Sohail is still the best choice as a drag-flicker but Pakistan should try indirect variations or use Muhammad Imran or Mohammad Tauseeq for the first shot. This will also force the remaining opponents to work on the penalty corner attack.
Pakistan should not lose a single point from this game otherwise they have to make up for it by taking full points from against the hosts and Australia, which won’t be easy. It is important that they count on each other, don’t come under pressure and work their socks off until the last second of the game.
Players to watch
Shakeel Abbasi, Umar Bhutta and Muhammad Rashid
Confident Pakistan face Argentina with high hopes today
By Muhammad Ali
LONDON: Pakistan will take on Argentina with high hopes in their second Pool A match of the London Olympics 2012 Men’s Field Hockey Tournament at Riverbank Arena, Olympic Sports Park here on Wednesday (today). This will be a key game for the greenshirts if they want to remain on course in the competition. Pakistan held Spain to 1-1 draw in their opening encounter on Monday, Veteran striker Rehan Butt, who was discarded after last year’s Champions Trophy only to be recalled for the Olympics, justified his selection with a 46th minute goal that gave Pakistan a ‘good’ start.
Head coach Akhtar Rasool told Daily Times that the greenshirts had a good and positive start by holding a tough team like Spain. “Now we intend to build on that vital point that we have earned,” said Akhtar. “We wasted few chances in our first match but hopefully those mistakes would not be repeated against Argentina,” he added. The Pakistan’s frontline’s potential was well in evidence against the Spanish side, but the forwards need to show greater finesse in the striking zone to win matches. A win against Argentina will definitely provide Pakistan a boost ahead of their games against Britain, South Africa and Australia. It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan had scored a 4-2 victory against Argentina in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in May this year.
Pakistan were unable to score through either of the two penalty corners that came their way against Spain. Luckily for Pakistan, Spain, too, missed three to four scoring chances which also included three penalty-corners. Unfortunately, skipper Sohail Abbas threw the ball upwards on both attempts, which the tall Spanish goalkeeper had no problem blocking. Had he sent one lower and one upwards, it could have worked. Then it would also have been better to aim at the corners of the goalpost rather than its middle both the times. “It was bad luck,” Akhtar replied to a question. “But I am sure that Pakistan will show improvement as the tournament progresses.”
Akhtar emphasised that the fitness levels of his players had been good enough. But Pakistan can expect Argentina to hit hard as they too need the points and this scenario should make for a tense battle of nerves. Under the circumstances, Pakistan would need tireless running, discipline and concentration to seize the upper hand early and sustain it. The crowd at the Riverbank Arena is magnificent and is creating a real surge of energy, a real swell of inspiration.
1: Spain vs Australia (12:30 pm PST)
2: Belgium vs Netherlands (02:45 pm PST)
3: New Zealand vs India (05:45 pm PST)
4: South Africa vs Britain (08:00 pm PST)
5: Pakistan vs Argentina (11:00 pm PST)
6: South Korea vs Germany (01:15 am PST)
The Daily Times
Pakistan face Argentine challenge today
By: Raheel Hanif
LAHORE – Pakistan hockey players survive the first challenge elegantly when they did not lose to Beijing Olympics silver-medallists and one of the two hot favourites to make it last four from Group B Spain. The opening match in any competition is difficult for both the teams but Pakistan on the whole played well against Spain and the draw they earned will pave way for their chances to advance to knock out phase.
It was a surprising show from an unpredictable side who were just overwhelmed by their European opponents just a few days back in the pre-Olympics warm-up matches. The seniors have started making their presence and worth felt with a forceful impact. So the draw has raised a little ray of hope among the hockey lovers that may be Pakistan can stand on the podium this time around. But it’s too early to suggest and the outcome of today’s game against Argentina will determine the Green Shirts prospects in the event. Pakistan should go for a kill in this match to earn full three points. While going into the match, the confidence of Pakistan players will be high as compared to Argentineans who were mauled by the hosts Great Britain 4-1 in their opening match.
With this psychological edge, Pakistan also need some supremacy in the field too and the way they played against Spain, if they succeeded to hold on to that momentum, they can overcome on any side of the world.
The form of skipper Sohail Abbas is crucial to Pakistan as he failed to convert any of the penalty corners into goal. His technique, speed and execution of the flick were very good and he was unlucky not to get any goal. But he also should play tactically and should aim at corners of the goal post too instead of sending every attempt in the middle of the post. Pakistan’s forward also need to develop the ability to finish a move into a goal as they missed three genuine goal opportunities in the previous match. One only can get as many good chances in big matches and if forwards cannot capitalise on these chances, it will be difficult to go very far in the event.
The speed with which Spanish got equaliser, should also be a matter of concern for the coaches and defenders. Pakistan should not have let their defence relax to avoid such situations and prolong the advantage till the very end of the game. Pakistan should take care not to give big gaps for the opponents to get in and score.
Match starts at 11:00 PM
Early starts to blame for hard to see hockey
HARD TO SEE: Viewers have been complaining the yellow hockey ball is hard to see on the blue turf. IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
As the backlash continues from television audiences watching Olympic hockey on the bright blue synthetic field, Australian coach Ric Charlesworth claims the situation should have been avoided.
Charlesworth, who won gold with the Australian women's team in Atlanta and Sydney, took aim at Olympic organisers and the host broadcasters over early scheduling and even the humble cameraman.
He believes the problem isn't the pitch at all, but the early morning sun rising over the eastern stand at Riverbank Arena.
The Kookaburras and Hockeyroos have both played early games during the London tournament, with daily scheduling starting at 8.30am.
Charlesworth said the way the low morning light shines on the pitch and back towards the broadcast cameras, as well as the yellow ball on the blue pitch, has made life hard for hockey fans to follow games in their lounge rooms in Australia.
"It's not a problem out on the field," Charlesworth said.
"The problem is because of the television viewers or the television channels wanted early matches, you get the sun in the position it is, that's the problem.
"Once or twice I think it's the quality of the camera work, hockey is very fast and so it takes a while for the camera crew to get up to speed to.
"But the problem is you play an early match, the sun's low, that's the difficulty in seeing the ball.
"This could have been predicted, but that's the sort of things that happens."
The Hockeyroos played their tournament opener against New Zealand at 8.30am, but backed up Wednesday night against Germany at 9.15pm (London time), while the Kookaburras took on South Africa at 10.45am.
Before the competition started, Charlesworth and the Australian Olympic Committee lodged an appeal over scheduling.
The world No 1 men's hockey team was fuming after being drawn to play three games at 8.30am during the Games competition in July and August, meaning they would be forced to start the day at 5am to prepare.
Claiming it was a disadvantage, the Australians complained and have had their clash with Pakistan on August 7 swapped to 10.45am, with the Korea-Netherlands game moved to the earlier time.
Hockeyroos coach Adam Commens said the women's team had adjusted well to having to play early in the morning.
"The early ones are OK for us, because we train at 6am in Perth," he said.
"It's difficult when you have to go early, late, early (game times), it limits the recovery time in between matches.
"We have a recovery plan that we stick to and we've learned how to slide (between) the days, from other tournament experiences.
"We're used to sleeping at different times and making sure you have to go to bed when you need to and go to bed a bit later like we did (Monday night) in preparation (to play Germany)."
10 things you should know
New Delhi: On the fifth day of the London 2012 Olympics, Google posted a new sport-specific doodle dedicated to hockey, that also happens to be India's National Game. Here are the top 10 interesting facts about the doodle and London 2012 Hockey events that you should know:
1. The doodle features a female player, holding a hook-shaped stick, playing on a hockey pitch. The doodle looks simple; neither the letter 'L' of Google has been replaced with the hockey stick nor the two Os of 'Google' have been replaced with balls. However, the doodle features a ball on the pitch. The six letters of Google are placed near the boundary, with second 'O' and third 'G' hidden behind the player.
2. The London 2012 Hockey doodle is the sixth doodle posted by Google during the ongoing London 2012 Olympics.
3. Wednesday's doodle is the first ever field hockey doodle posted by Google. Google had earlier posted three ice hockey doodles during the Winter Olympic Games - the first was during the Salt Lake City Olympics 2002, the second during the 2006 Torino Olympic Games and the third Ice Hockey doodle was put up during the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.
4. The hockey events at London 2012 Olympics are scheduled from 29 July to 11 August. For the first time ever at the Olympic Games, the London 2012 hockey pitch is blue, rather than green.
5. There are two hockey events - one men's and one women's competition. The number of participants in Hockey events are 192 men and 192 women, i.e., twelve men's and 12 women's teams, with 16 athletes (11 players and five substitutes) on each team. Each country is limited to one men's and one women's team.
6. At London 2012, both the men's and women's hockey competitions begin with a preliminary phase - the 12 teams in each competition are divided into two pools of six, and each team plays every other in their pool. The top two teams in each pool qualify for the semi-finals, the winners of which go head-to-head for the gold. The other teams in the two groups play each other to determine final placings.
7. All matches will be played at the brand-new Riverbank Arena in the Olympic Park. This sport is a long-time Olympic favourite, offering non-stop action over 14 days of competition.
8. The hockey pitches are 91.4 metres long and 55 metres wide. The goals at each end are 3.66 metres wide and 2.14 metres high. Each goal is surrounded by a D-shaped shooting circle. The penalty spot at either end is 6.4 metres from the goal.
9. Until the 1970s, hockey was always played on grass. However, top-level matches, including those at London 2012, now take place on water-based synthetic-turf pitches, which allow the ball to roll more smoothly and quickly.
10. Men's Hockey made its debut at the London 1908 Games. The first women’s Olympic Hockey competition was held at the Moscow 1980 Games.
Austria & Poland for Scotland Men
Scotland Men will play both Austria and Poland in international matches on 4 & 5 August, as they continue their preparations for the FIH World League Round 1 in September.
Derek Forsyth includes 17 players for the trip to Poland, including Dan Coultas who scored an unprecedented five goals in the Celtic Cup match against South Africa last month. Glynhill Hotel Kelburne trio William Marshall, Iain Scholefield and Gareth Hall will all edge closer to the milestone of 100 international caps this weekend with all three players in the nineties.
Youngsters Callum Duke and Ian Moodie continue their impressive start to their international careers by retaining their places from the Celtic Cup, while Clydesdale's Fraser Hirst is included in the squad and could win his first senior cap.
The Scots play the FIH World League Round 1 in Lousada, Portugal from 25-30 September where they play hosts Portugal, Italy, Morrocco and Gibralter.
Scotland Men: Jamie Cachia (Sheffield HC), Dan Coultas (Durham University), Russell Anderson (Brooklands HC), Ian Moodie (Western Wildcats), Fergus Dunn (Surbiton), Kenny Bain (THC Hurley), Wei Adams (AMN Hillhead), Callum Duke (Edinburgh University), Phil Carr (Loughborough HC), Ross Stott (East Grinstead), Fraser Hirst (Clydesdale HC), Adam MacKenzie (Inverleith), Gavin Byers (Grove Menzieshill), Gordon McIntyre (Beeston HC), William Marshall, Iain Scholefield, Gareth Hall (all Glynhill Hotel Kelburne).
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Junior Men to compete in Jr. Pan Am Championship
Vying for berth to 2013 Junior World Cup
Field Hockey Canada is pleased to announce the athletes selected to compete for the Canadian Men’s Junior National Team at the 2012 Junior Pan American Championship, September 10 – 23 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The Championship is Canada’s opportunity to qualify for the 2013 International Hockey Federation (FIH) Junior World Cup.
The Canadian Junior Men are hoping to secure one of two tickets to the Junior World Cup. Canada finished fourth at the 2008 Junior Pan American Championship behind Argentina, Chile and the USA. However, in the past year this Junior Squad has proven their ability to defeat formidable Pan Am opponents.
Argentina will be tough competition. Canada faced Argentina in two test matches in March, resulting in one win and one loss. In June the Junior Men made their first trek to Guadalajara, defeating Mexico in three straight wins. At the recent 3 Nations Tournament in Vancouver, Canada was victorious over Team Chile and Team USA. They were undefeated against Chile, conceding only one match to the Americans and winning the other two.
“We have had a competitive build up to Guadalajara, and we are focused on winning each match. We will do our best to qualify for the Junior World Cup,” says Head Coach Mathias Ahrens. “As we prepare, every player in the program has made significant steps forward in the performance. They have given their all, and selecting the final roster for the Junior Pan Ams was a very difficult task.”
Ahrens is confident the 18 athletes (all under the age of 21) selected to represent Team Canada have the right blend and balance to ensure success. The team has a solid base of international experience. Adam Froese (Abbotsford, BC) and Keegan Pereira (Ajax, ON) competed at the 2011 Pan American Games with the Senior National Team. Froese and Pereira each have 59 international caps for Canada. Gordon Johnston (Vancouver) and Taylor Curran (North Vancouver) also bring a variety of international experience at the senior level.
There are three sets of brothers on the Canadian roster. Taylor Curran is joined by his younger brother, Spencer Curran (North Vancouver). Brothers Keegan and Kevin Pereira will compete together in September. And the Bissett brothers of New Westminster, BC have claimed three spots on the Canadian roster. Brenden Bissett and his older twin brothers, Matthew and Stephen will all be in Guadalajara – vying for a berth to the Junior World Cup.
“We are now entering the final phase in our preparation, and we are focused on stabilizing some critical aspects of our game,” says Coach Ahrens. “We are focused and ready to win our matches against the tough opposition at the Junior Pan American Championship.”
TEAM CANADA ROSTER
Brenden Bissett (New Westminster, BC).. Matthew Bissett (New Westminster, BC).. Stephen Bissett (New Westminster, BC).. Tristan Burgoyne (Vancouver).. Spencer Curran (North Vancouver, BC).. Taylor Curran (North Vancouver, BC).. Ali Currimbhoy (Burnaby, BC).. Adrien d’Andrade (Coquitlam, BC).. Adam Froese (Abbotsford, BC).. Gabriel Ho-Garcia (Burnaby, BC).. Gordon Johnston (Vancouver).. Sam Jones (Vancouver).. Andrew Kanerva (Tsawwassen, BC).. James Kirkpatrick (Victoria, BC).. Kevin Pereira (Ajax, ON).. Kevin Pereira (Ajax, ON).. Matthew Sarmento (Vancouver).. Paul Wharton (Vancouver)
Mathias Ahrens (Head Coach).. Aaron Guest (Assistant Coach).. Paul Mounter (Video Technician).. Alvin Bissett (Team Manager).. Elianne Tieleman (Physiotherapist)
The Canadian Women’s Junior National Team will announce their roster for the 2012 Junior Pan American Championship later in August.
Field Hockey Canada media release