All the news for Saturday 4 August 2012
London 2012 Olympic Games - Hockey Competition Fixtures & Results
Friday 3 August 2012
Pool Time Match Result
A 08:30 Australia vs. Argentina 2-2
B 10:45 Netherlands vs. New Zealand 1-3
B 13.45 Germany vs. India 5-2
A 16:00 Great Britain vs. Pakistan 4-1
A 19:00 South Africa vs. Spain 2-3
B 21.15 Belgium vs. Korea 2-1
Injury-stricken Spain get the better of South Africa
Jackson stars as Great Britain beat Pakistan; Australia stunned by Argentina comeback
2012 Olympic Games (men), London (Photo: Stanislas Brochier)
South Africa vs Spain 2-3 (1-1 half-time)
Spain kept their hopes outside hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive as they netted their first win of the campaign, all but condemning South Africa to the minor placings.In a lively clash, South Africa hit the front first through Justin Reid-Ross but Marc Salles, Pau Quemada and Miguel Delas replied to put the game out of reach despite Lloyd Norris-Jones late goal.
The Spanish began the game with just 14 outfield players at their disposal as injuries to Santi Freixa and Pol Amat meant they could only call upon reserve goalkeeper Xavier Trenchs to fill their bench. Sergi Enrique’s suspension curtailed their numbers further. And things looked to be going further against them when Reid-Ross got the first of three corner goals in the game in the 26th minute.
It was heavily deflected as his drag-flick first clipped the sole of an airborne Alex Fabregas’ shoe before bouncing into the ground viciously, eventually going in off Francisco Cortes’ shoulder. Spain, though, got back on terms five minutes later. Carlos Ballbe won a corner with his run down the right wing, a move only denied by Rassie Pieterse’s excellent stop but the aftermath bounced off a foot. From the resulting set-piece, Quemada pushed for the right post where Marc Salles slid in to ramp the ball past the defender on the post.
Ballbe was again the creative influence for the go-ahead goal, haring down the right wing and laying up for Quemada to scramble over the line. The third goal was similar in making to the first, a corner variation that Miguel Delas slid onto, using the grip of his stick to find the left corner. The goal was awarded after an umpire’s referral. It looked set to see Spain over the line from what has been a tough start to their campaign but South Africa made them sweat as Ian Haley pounced on a Spanish miscontrol and back-hand the ball to Norris-Jones who coolly finished off.
They threw everything forward in the closing stages but found the going frustrating and now have to focus on getting something from games against Pakistan and Argentina if they are to move up in the group. Spain, meanwhile, have Argentina next and then Great Britain in their final four bid.
For more information on RSA vs ESP, click here
Great Britain vs Pakistan 4-1 (2-0 half-time)
Ashley Jackson produced a master-class to help propel Great Britain into a strong position in Group A with an all round display of class and guile. His two corner goals capped a performance around the field that blew Pakistan away, his turn of pace creating a string of problems.
James Tindall got Britain off to the flyer when Harry Martin got through down the right. His cross-shot was just about intercepted by Imran Shah but he could not get enough on it to escape the lurking Tindall who latched onto the loose ball and slammed home from a tight angle on the reverse. Jackson almost had a second soon after only to see Rashid Mehmood brilliantly take the ball out of the top corner in the fifth minute as the hosts started brilliantly.
The half’s main talking point, though, was a bizarre green card situation. Muhammad Waqas was green carded but Pakistan ended up with eleven still on the pitch that umpire Marcelo Servetto spotted soon after. Sohail Abbas was made to join Waqas on the sideline for the technical foul.
Pakistan did come back into the tie but GB extended their lead in pristine fashion. Jackson cut in from the right wing with an exquisite turn before laying off to Nick Catlin running diagonally to the right. His movement opened space to square into the path of Jonty Clarke to gleefully finish off.
After an initial Pakistan burst, the second half proved a more languid affair as Jackson netted penalty corner flicks in the 50th and 67th minutes – the first was a low bullet the second hitting the rafters of the goal. Sohail Abbas did get one back, his 347th international goal, in the final seconds but James Fair denied a couple of earlier efforts just after the break which could have put the game in the balance.
It elevates Britain to seven points; only second to Australia in the pool rankings on goal difference while Pakistan remain on four points in third place.
For more info on GBR vs PAK, click here
Australia vs. Argentina: 2-2 (half-time: 2-0)
Argentina came back from a 2-goal deficit to tie Australia and earn their first point of the competition. Australia seemed to have the game well under control at half-time and will certainly regret the many wasted opportunities in second half that cost them a third win.
Both teams started the early morning match slowly, then the Kookaburas suddenly picked up the pace to threaten Juan Manuel Vivaldi in the Argentinean goal. Argentina followed suit, earning a penalty-corner after a swift counter-attack, and an interesting option between Lucas Vila and Lucas Rey nearly did the trick.
The scare was too much for Australia and they grabbed the lead in their next breath on a penalty-corner, Matthew Butturini picking up the rebound after a strong save on the line by Manuel Brunet behind his keeper. The Kookaburas started to control play in midfield, reducing the Argentinean progress to counter-attacks or long balls to their high forwards.
Juan Manuel Vivaldi was called into action a few times on violent Australian shots and on a messy goal mouth scramble following a penalty-corner, but it is only with a few seconds left in the period that Jamie Dwyer added a second goal, his forth of the competition, after pouncing on a loose ball mishandled by an Argentinean defender.
The two-goal lead at the interval reflected the overall domination of the top ranked team. However, the break was beneficial to Argentina and Matias Vila was at the conclusion of a counter-attack to score in the first minute of second period, reducing the gap to one goal and changing the dynamics of the match.
Australia had multiple scoring opportunities in second half but their shots were wide, high or hit the post, and Juan Manuel Vivaldi took care of those on target. Argentina were far less wasteful and scored on their first penalty-corner of the period by Gonzalo Peillat to tie the score with a few minutes left on the clock.
The end of game was heated, with green and yellow cards handed out and a video-referral refusal for Argentina that drew loud boos from the crowd, but the score stood at 2-2, giving Argentina their first point of the tournament while the Australians, who appeared to have the game well under control at half-time, will certainly regret their many wasted opportunities in second half.
For more information on AUS v ARG, click here.
Charlier cracker hands Belgium first win
Germany and the Netherlands both summon five-star performances
2012 Olympic Games (men), London (Photo: Grant Treeby)
Belgium vs Korea 2-1 (0-0 half-time)
Cedric Charlier’s sparkling goal handed Belgium their first win of the Olympic Games Pool B, putting a major dampener on Korea’s hopes of reaching the final four. It came in the final quarter after Hyun Woo Nam’s penalty corner had cancelled out Tom Boon’s opener 90 seconds into the second half.
Plenty of late drama ensued as three yellow cards were dished out in the final minute and Vincent Vanasch was forced to save a series of shots in a final flurry of action. Holding on for the win, it pushes Belgium up to fourth in the standings with New Zealand and India to play. Jerome Dekeyser produced the highlight of the first half with a rasping strike that crashed against the inside of the post, agonisingly rebounding across the face of goal in the sixth minute.
It was a half that promised much but goalmouth chances were at a premium. The second half was those come in abundance, the first ballooning Tom Boon’s way from a crash ball and he swung out a volley that delicately wrong-footed Myung Ho Lee from a tight angle. Nam levelled with a low corner drive but his side will rue their inability to capitalise further from their volume of corners in the latter stages. Number one Jerome Truyens blocked one spectacularly while a couple went off target to keep Belgium on terms.
Alexandre de Saedeleer did similarly well to pressurise Kang Moon Kweon who somehow manages to screw a close range shot wide in the 56thminute. It proved a huge let-off as, soon after, Charlier scored the goal which had the Belgian fans singing down the Olympic walkway. He had already beaten a couple of defenders before his shimmy wrong-footed another couple, finding the space to roof a sweep-shot on the dive over Myung Ho Lee’s shoulder.
They had to live on their wits for the closing ten minutes as Jeffrey Thys, Xavier Reckinger and Nam Yong Lee all saw yellow while Oh Dae Keun – on his 100th cap – and Cha Jong Bok drew saves from Vanasch for a big win for the lowlanders.
For more information on BEL vs KOR, click here
Germany vs. India: 5-2 (half-time: 4-1)
Germany overwhelmed India to cruise to a comfortable 5-2 win.
They were immediately threatening and PR Sreejesh, in the Indian goal today, was called into action in the opening minute. Both teams seemed inspired and willing to play attacking hockey, and India had a good chance when SV Sunil ran the whole length of the pitch and delivered a perfect cross that just eluded Shivendra Singh in front of the German goal.
Florian Fuchs drew first blood in the 8th minute when he pounced on a loose ball in the circle, turn swiftly and beat PR Sreejesh from close range. Sandeep Singh had a chance on penalty-corner soon after but his low flick was well handled by Max Weinhold in the German goal. Germany managed to keep the fast Indian attackers at bay until the 13th minute, when a penalty-corner taken by VR Raghunath cleanly beat Weinhold. The German response was immediate and they re-established their lead, once again by Florian Fuchs, coolly batting in goal a high rebound from the Indian goalkeeper.
Germany took control of play, circulating the ball around the Indians in midfield, and PR Sreejesh needed to stand tall, but he could not prevent a third goal by Oliver Korn, lodging the ball in the roof of the net from a narrow angle. The Indians seemed deflated by this additional goal, as well as overwhelmed by the constant pressure applied by Germany on their midfield, and Germany scored a fourth goal before half-time by Christopher Wesley, putting the fate of the match somewhat out of doubt.
Florian Fuchs completed his hat-trick in the first minute of second period and things were starting to look seriously bleak for India. They had a chance on penalty-corner but Max Weinhold once again read well the flick by Sandeep Singh, not looking at his best since the beginning of the competition. India had a good reaction mid-way through the period but could not increase their tally, even on another penalty-corner, weakly executed.
India scored a second goal by Tushar Khandker and seemed to wake up in the final minutes, but it was too little too late and Germany controlled the end of the match, cruising to a comfortable win (5-2), their third win in so many matches, to join The Netherlands at the top of Pool B, leaving India still pointless in the competition.
For more information on GER v IND, click here.
Netherlands vs. New Zealand: 5-1 (half-time: 3-1)
New Zealand surprised the Dutch with an early Simon Child goal, but The Netherlands replied with five unanswered goals to stay on top on Pool B with their third win in so many matches.
New Zealand started with a bang, Simon Child opening the scoring within 5 minutes of play to give an early lead to the Kiwis. Sander De Wijn thought that he had equalized in the next play when he deflected in goal a Teun De Nooijer shot that was going wide, but the video-referral showed that he had played the ball with a high stick and the goal was denied.
On a penalty-corner earned by Robbert Kemperman in the 15th minute after a long run through defenders, Roderick Weusthof’s flick was well saved by Kyle Pontifex in goal for New Zealand but a stroke was given on the play and Weusthof did not miss his second chance to tie the score at 1-1.
Play was fast and physical between these two athletic teams, and Billy Bakker earned another penalty-stroke, this time converted by Mink Van Der Weerden to put The Netherlands back on top. The Dutch deepened the gap soon after by Billy Bakker, on hand to deflect in goal a shot by Rogier Hofman who had just run 50 meters with defenders on his heels. The Netherlands had another chance to score on a last second penalty-corner, but the wild goalmouth scramble was finally cleared and the score stayed at 3-1 for The Netherlands going into the break.
New Zealand were again fast of the block in second period and had a chance by Stephen Jenness, but Jaap Stockmann in the Dutch goal was ready for his sudden shot. Play became more structured, with each team enjoying longer periods of ball possession to develop their attacks and produce exciting end to end hockey. Jenness had another golden opportunity when he received a cross from Simon Child alone in front of the keeper but he could not adjust his reverse stick shot.
Billy Bakker did not waste the next chance at the other end when he received a deep ball at full speed to score his second goal of the match, establishing a seemingly insurmountable 4-1 lead for The Netherland. Robbert Kemperman added a fifth and final goal and The Netherlands rolled in to their third win in so many matches to stay on top of pool B.
For more information on NED v NZL, click here.
Germany, Dutch extend win streaks
Defending champions Germany and the Netherlands posted their third straight men’s Olympic hockey wins in dazzling style, as Argentina rallied from two down to hold world title-holders Australia yesterday.
Germany outplayed India 5-2 and the Dutch coasted to a 5-1 victory over New Zealand to consolidate their position for semi-final berths from Pool B. Netherlands are top in the group with a superior goal difference.
Australia stay top of Pool A with seven points from three matches despite the 2-2 draw with Argentina. The world number one team have a better goal difference than Great Britain, who also have seven points after beating Pakistan 4-1.
Germany’s Florin Fuchs scored three field goals against India, who have now lost all their three matches. Fuchs shot on target in the seventh, 15th and 37th minutes, while Oliver Korn (18th) and Christopher Wesley (34th) contributed one goal each.
V.R. Raghunath (13th) and Tushar Khandkar (63rd) scored for India.
Against the Netherlands, New Zealand took an early lead with a field goal from Simon Child in the fifth minute.
But the Dutch came back firing to take a 3-1 lead at half-time after two penalty stroke conversions by Roderick Weusthof (16th) and Mink van der Weerden (27th), followed by an open-play strike by Billy Bakker (29th).
Bakker scored another field goal in the 56th minute before Robbert Kemperman rounded off the scoring three minutes from close.
“We never had a feeling that we would lose despite conceding an early goal,” said Kemperman. “Before the game we thought we could score five goals.”
“What we did well was that we passed the ball into the midfield, which we had not done much in the past two games,” he said. New Zealand have three points from as many matches.
Captain Matias Vila’s field goal on a counter attack in the 37th minute, and Gonzalo Peillat’s penalty corner conversion in the 68th brought Argentina level with Australia, for whom Edward Ockenden opened the scoring by seizing on penalty corner rebound in the 11th.
Jamie Dwyer added the second goal right on half-time, making him Australia’s highest ever scorer with 180 goals. Australia had many chances to add to their lead but could not pass Argentine goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi.
“We’ve got to improve all the way through the tournament. I don’t think we finished well,” said Australian coach Ric Charlesworth. Brilliant shooting helped Great Britain equal their biggest win over Pakistan, the Asian Games champions.
James Tindall scored from a very tight angle for Great Britain’s opening goal in the fourth minute. Jonty Clarke fired the second in the 26th after skilful approach play involving Ashley Jackson, who then converted two corners in the 50th and 67th minutes.
Sohail Abbas scored a last-minute consolation goal for Pakistan, who are in third place in Pool A with four points from three matches.
World champions Australia held, Germany win
Australia showed they are not invincible when they failed to hold on to a 2-0 lead over Argentina. -Photo by AFP
LONDON: Australia were surprisingly held by Argentina in the men’s hockey tournament at the Riverbank Arena in London.
In the first match of the day, Australia showed they are not invincible when they failed to hold on to a 2-0 lead over Argentina who had lost both matches in the tournament so far.
Australian striker Jamie Dwyer broke his country’s all-time scoring record with his 2-0, a simple tap-in just before the break but his side paid for missing 22 shots on goal.
Argentina scored just two minutes after the interval, with a shot by their skipper Matias Vila deflected off Australian defender Fergus Kavanagh’s stick.
Although Australia, who had won both previous matches without conceding a goal and scoring 11 times, were the pressing team throughout, they could not get past impressive Argentine keeper Juan Manuel Vivaldi again in the second half.
Argentina rallied in the last 10 minutes, and with just two minutes to go Gonzalo Peillat’s penalty corner drag flick earned Argentina a draw and their first point in the tournament.
“We weren’t clinical enough inside the attacking circle and, defensively, one-on-one we were a little bit sloppy,” said Australian goal scorer Dwyer. “We are not anywhere near where we want to be after this game. We have taken a step back.”
Australia still lead Group A, but after Friday’s draw that put them on seven points, they are ahead of Britain only by goal difference. The two will play on Sunday, when they will likely settle among themselves Group A’s first and second ranks needed to earn a berth in the semi-finals.
In Pool B, the two teams expected to make it through to the semi-finals, the Netherlands and Germany, gave their opponents a thrashing on Friday.
The Dutch trailed New Zealand after just five minutes when Nicholas Wilson played the ball across from left wing for Simon Child to put away.
But from then on, the Dutch dazzled with their quick-break hockey, scoring three goals by half time despite having a goal disallowed in a video referral two minutes after the Kiwi goal.
Penalty strokes – taken from seven metres’ distance – by Roderick Weusthof and corner specialist Mink van der Weerden put the Dutch ahead, and Billy Bakker finished off a quick counter-attack finished off with six minutes to go before the break.
Another goal by Bakker and Robbert Kemperman slamming the ball into the far-right corner of the goal in the 67th minute put a long distance between New Zealand and any realistic hope to qualify for the final four.
The Netherlands, who came into the tournament ranked second in the world now lead Group B on goal difference ahead of Germany, who blew away record Olympic Champions India.
After two matches characterised mostly by mental strength, Germany stepped up a gear to display some inspiring, fast moves across the pitch.
A hat-trick by Germany’s Florian Fuchs and one goal each by Oliver Korn and Christopher Wesley allowed German to cruise to their 5-2 victory, despite a short three minutes in the first half when the score was 1-1 following a penalty corner goal by India’s VR Rangunath.
Germany managed to split open India’s defence almost at will and will now focus their efforts on countering the Netherlands’ quick attacking game when they face each other on Sunday.
Missed Opportunities Hurt Kookaburras, Dwyer Creates History
Jamie Dwyer becomes the highest scoring Australian ever. Image: Grant Treeby
The Kookaburras are sure to be up and about next match after a scare against Argentina....
Australia 2 dw Argentina 2
Australian Goals: Matthew Butturini FG 11m, Jamie Dwyer FG 35m
Best Players: Jamie Dwyer, Glenn Turner, Matt Gohdes, Fergus Kavanagh
The world number one men’s hockey team paid the price for too many missed shots on goal against a determined Argentina today and were lucky to walk away with a 2-all draw.
The Kookaburras dominated the match but only converted two goals from 21 shots, leaving the door open for their opposition to stay in the match.
To its credit, Argentina continued to press and worked the ball around well, with its goalie Juan Manuel Vivaldi best on field in a brilliant display.
The Australians lost their video referral in the opening minutes and were unable to challenge a decision for the rest of the match, which ended up being a huge disadvantage.
Australia opened the scoring when Matthew Butturini fired home a rebound off a Chris Ciriello drag flick and momentum was flowing the Australian’s way.
Matthew Gohdes and Glenn Turner showed creative flair and skill and created opportunities but the Kookaburras could add just one more goal to their tally before the break.
,Jamie Dwyer made an easy tap in, 44 seconds before half-time to become the Kookaburras highest goal scorer in history.
The 33-year old, five-time World Player of the Year, surpassed former Kookaburra Mark Hager’s record scoring 180 goals from 281 matches. Hager scored 179 from 230 matches.
But the milestone was overshadowed when the Argentinians started to mount a comeback, first scoring on the counter attack and then equalising off a penalty corner with two minutes to go.
At 2-all a third penalty corner perhaps should have been awarded but the video referral deemed there was no foot in the circle, which created a heated exchange after the match between players and officials.
Australia played with ten players when Mark Knowles was sidelined for dissent with less than two minutes to go and the Kookaburras were lucky not to lose the three points.
It was certainly a reality check but the boys will be back in action against Great Britain in what is sure to be a terrific showdown with the host nation! It’s an early one though August 5, 4am(AEST)
Hockey Australia media release
Sublime Great Britain out-play Pakistan
Cheered on by a packed Riverbank Arena, Great Britain men were back to their best this afternoon with a dominant display against Pakistan coming out 4-1 winners.
The result leaves the home side equal on points with Australia at the top of Pool A and sets up a mouth-watering contest in two days time when the sides will face each other.
After drawing 2-2 with South Africa on Wednesday night, Great Britain came out with a point to prove against the world number eight side. Two goals in the first half from James Tindall and Jonty Clarke set the tone and an unstoppable Ashley Jackson added two more in the second half to make it 4-0 before Pakistan pulled one back in the final minute through their captain Sohail Abbas.
Speaking after his man of the match display, Great Britain forward Ashley Jackson said, "It was very important for us to win after a disappointing performance against South Africa, but that was a much better today and there was a lot more fight about us. We knew that if we slipped up here then it was going to be very difficult from here on in, so we were playing with a bit of fear, which always makes it a bit better."
Great Britain made a great start to the match and broke the deadlock early in the fourth minute through Surbiton’s James Tindall who scored his first goal of the competition. East Grinstead’s danger-man Ashley Jackson made an excellent break and found Old Loughtonians’ Harry Martin in space inside the circle. The midfielder’s smart shot was saved by Pakistan’s goalkeeper Imran Shah but the ball broke to Tindall at the back post and his reverse stick shot made it 1-0 to Great Britain.
Two minutes later, Great Britain had a chance to double their lead following Surbiton’s Matt Daly winning a penalty corner for a foot infringement. However, Jackson’s drag-flick towards the top right hand corner of the goal was brilliantly deflected over the cross-bar by Rashid Mehmood’s outstretched stick on the goal-line.
The second goal for Great Britain in the 27th minute came as the result of exquisite inter-play between the influential Jackson and Reading’s Nick Catlin. With Shah’s attempt to smother the ball being foiled by Catlin’s clever draw and pass, his Reading team-mate Jonty Clarke was left with the simple task of rolling the ball into the unguarded Pakistan goal to double the home nation’s lead at 2-0.
Great Britain almost took a three goal advantage into the half-time interval but both Surbiton’s Matt Daly and Great Britain Captain Barry Middleton’s despairing dives couldn’t connect with Jackson’s excellent cross from the left hand side of the circle. The score remained 2-0 as the sides went in for the break.
A flurry of penalty corners were awarded to Pakistan in the opening minutes of the second half with Pakistan Captain Sohail Abbas, a renowned penalty corner expert, stepping up to take all three set-plays. However, an initial defensive block and two brilliant saves by the commanding Great Britain and Cannock goalkeeper James Fair denied the 37 year-old veteran from scoring Pakistan’s first goal of the game.
Shortly afterwards, the irrepressible Jackson had another opportunity from a penalty corner when neat stick-work from Surbiton’s Rob Moore forced a Pakistan foot infringement in the shooting circle. The former World Young Player of the Year’s first shot on goal was illegally blocked by the on-coming Mehmood, who took a painful knock and treatment for his troubles. However, the 24 year-old composed himself again to dispatch the resulting penalty corner past Shah and extend Great Britain’s lead at 3-0 in the 50th minute.
With Pakistan tiring towards the end of the match, Jackson crowned a fantastic man of the match performance with another penalty corner strike in the 67th minute. Martin’s quick dart along the by-line was impeded illegally by a defender and the subsequent set-play saw Jackson expertly drag-flick the ball high beyond Shah’s attempted save to put Great Britain 4-0 up.
Not to be completely out-done, Abbas continued his remarkable international scoring record by pulling back a consolation goal in the 69th minute when he beat Fair from a penalty corner to make the final score Great Britain 4-1 Pakistan.
As a result, Great Britain are now level with Australia at the top of Pool A on seven points. The two unbeaten sides will meet each other at the Riverbank Arena on Sunday 5 August (19.00).
Looking forward to Sunday’s game, Jackson said, "It's going to be tough. We're going to be slogging it out toe to toe. I'm sure it's going to be a fantastic match and very entertaining."
Meanwhile, Great Britain women have the chance to qualify for the semi-finals tomorrow, when a win or draw against China will guarantee the home nation a last four place and the prospect of a medal match. Great Britain vs. China starts at 16.00 at the Riverbank Arena.
GREAT BRITAIN 4 (2)
James Tindall 4’ (F)
Jonty Clarke 27’ (F)
Ashley Jackson 50’ 67’ (PC) (PC)
PAKISTAN 1 (0)
Sohail Abbas 69’ (PC)
GREAT BRITAIN MEN’s SQUAD v PAKISTAN
Name (Club) [Position]
James Fair (Cannock) [Goalkeeper]
Ben Hawes (Wimbledon) [Defender]
Iain Lewers (East Grinstead) [Defender]
Dan Fox (Hampstead & Westminster) [Defender]
Richard Smith (Loughborough Students) [Defender]
Ashley Jackson (East Grinstead) [Midfielder]
Harry Martin (Old Loughtonians) [Midfielder]
Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead) [Midfielder]
James Tindall (Surbiton) [Forward
Barry Middleton (HGC (Netherlands) [Midfielder/Forward]
Iain Mackay (Reading) [Forward]
Matt Daly (Surbiton) [Forward]
Rob Moore (Surbiton) [Midfielder/Forward]
Jonty Clarke (Reading) [Forward]
Alastair Wilson (Beeston) [Defender]
Nick Catlin (Reading) [Midfielder/Forward]
Great Britain Hockey media release
GB men power past Pakistan
Great Britain's hockey men got back on track after their frustrating draw against South Africa with a 4-1 win over Pakistan at the Olympics.
James Tindall scored after four minutes and Jonty Clarke added another before half-time at the Riverbank Arena.
Two Ashley Jackson penalty corners made it 4-0 before Sohail Abbas responded with a late set-piece for Pakistan.
Britain and Australia are tied on seven points at the top of Pool A and the teams meet on Sunday at 19:00 BST.
"It was very important for us after a nightmare performance against South Africa but that was a much better performance, there was a lot more fight about us," said the 24-year-old Jackson.
"It wasn't easy at all. We knew that if we slipped up here then it was going to be very difficult from here on in, so we were playing with a bit of fear, which always makes it a bit better."
Tindall pounced on a loose ball with a sharp reverse-stick for the opener and, after failing to take advantage when Pakistan were briefly reduced to nine men, Britain scored a brilliant second, Clarke finishing off a flowing team move.
Pakistan failed with three successive penalty corners at the start of the second half before Jackson scored his third goal in two games with a low penalty corner flick, and he made it four with another penalty effort high into the corner.
"I have seen him play better but this is the standard Ashley has," said GB coach Jason Lee. "He tends to be notable when our team plays better.
"I think he was less noticeable against South Africa because the team played poorly. But he is a star, he loves the pressure and he thrives on it and he will be someone who will be scoring goals throughout this tournament and the rest of his career - and long may it continue."
Australia earlier let a two-goal lead slip against Argentina to draw 2-2, allowing Britain to join them on seven points after three games in Pool A.
In Pool B, the Netherlands thrashed New Zealand 5-1 and Germany had a similarly impressive 5-2 win over India. The top two teams from each group go through to the semi-finals.
Team GB's Ashley Jackson scores double sees off Pakistan at Riverbank Arena
By Jessica Winch, Riverbank Arena
Centre stage: Ashley Jackson (centre) celebrates scoring during Team GB's defeat of Pakistan Photo: AP
Great Britain bounced back after a disappointing draw against South Africa with a crucial victory over Pakistan on Friday.
Ashley Jackson enjoyed a brilliant game, scoring two goals from penalty corners, with James Tindall and Jonty Clarke also finding the net.
The win put Great Britain level with tournament favourites Australia at the top of Pool A with seven points after three matches . The two sides, both unbeaten, meet tomorrow evening .
Jackson, the East Grinstead forward, said: “We were on much better form than against South Africa. We worked harder for the win. We just played for each other – there was a lot of selfless play and we scored easy goals.”
The Duchess of Cambridge was among the crowd who cheered Team GB to victory. The Duchess, an ambassador for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, had visited the men’s squad in the Olympic Village on Tuesday.
She also sent the women’s captain, Kate Walsh, a handwritten letter earlier this week as she recovered in hospital from jaw surgery.
Great Britain got off to a sizzling start with James Tindall smashing in a reverse stick shot at the back post , after great play from Jackson through the Pakistan defence.
Pakistan managed frequent runs into their opponents’ goal area but did not manage to connect the final pass and good defensive work from Jackson, Iain Lewers and goalkeeper James Fair kept the danger at bay.
In the 25th minute, Jackson and Nick Catlin set up the ball for Clarke to fire into goal and give the home side a 2-0 lead.
In the second half, Fair coped well under pressure, saving three penalty corners awarded to Pakistan in quick succession.
Jackson’s form was rewarded as he fired home a low penalty corner in the 49th minute and the forward then flicked in another penalty corner for a 4-0 lead. In the final minute Pakistan were awarded their own penalty corner, scored by captain Sohail Abbas .
Midfielder Glenn Kirkham said: “Obviously it was good to get back on form. It will give us a lot of confidence – we had so much more interest and commitment. We put them under pressure.” Team-mate Harry Martin added: “We used up our lifeline on Wednesday and we can’t afford too many slip-ups. As long as we win one more game, hopefully that will be enough.”
Off-colour Pakistan lose to Britain 4-1
By Muhammad Ali
Argentina play 2-2 draw with Australia, Germany teach 5-2 hockey lesson to India, Netherlands rout New Zealand 5-1
LONDON: Britain tamed Pakistan 4-1 in their crunch Pool A game of the London Olympics 2012 Men’s Field Hockey Tournament at Riverbank Arena, Olympic Park here on Friday. It was a good victory for Britain after their frustrating draw against South Africa. The win elevates Britain to seven points, only second to Australia in the pool rankings on goal difference while Pakistan remain on four points in third place.
Pakistan offered little in response to the hosts’ adventurous counter-attacking and solid defence. The Pakistan defence was repeatedly caught flat-footed by the long balls that Britain employed with success while swinging from defence to attack in the blink of an eye. Their slick ball rotation too put the greenshirts in a tangle. James Tindall scored after four minutes and Jonty Clark doubled the lead before half-time. Ashley Jackson produced a master-class to help propel Britain into a strong position with an all round display of class and guile. His two penalty corner goals in the second session made it 4-0 that blew Pakistan away. Skipper Sohail Abbas responded with a late consolation goal for Pakistan.
As always, Pakistan’s game was all about instinct and individual skills rather than any structure or plan in sharp contrast to the well-drilled Britain who epitomized team effort. It was the Pakistan midfield and deep defence that were guilty of unpardonable lapses by way of leaving a lot of space for the Britain forwards and also poor marking inside the striking circle. The first half’s main talking point, though, was a bizarre green card situation. Muhammad Waqas was green carded but Pakistan ended up with eleven still on the pitch that umpire Marcelo Servetto spotted soon after. Sohail was made to join Waqas on the sideline for the technical foul.
Within a minute of the second half starting Pakistan won three successive penalty corners but goalkeeper James Fair stood up well to the threat of specialist Sohail. Jackson netted penalty corner flicks in the 50th and 67th minutes - the first was a low bullet the second hitting the rafters of the goal. Sohail did get one back, his 347th international goal, in the dying moments.
“It was very important for us after a nightmare performance against South Africa but that was a much better performance, there was a lot more fight about us,” said Jackson in his post match comments. “It wasn’t easy at all. We knew that if we slipped up here then it was going to be very difficult from here on in, so we were playing with a bit of fear, which always makes it a bit better.”
Argentina surprise Australia with 2-2 draw: Argentina came back from a 2-goal deficit to tie world champions Australia and earn their first point of the competition in the Pool A. Australia seemed to have the game well under control at half-time and will certainly regret the many wasted opportunities in second half that cost them a third win.
Argentina captain Matias Vila scored his side’s first goal just after halftime from open play and defender Gonzalo Peillat levelled the match from a penalty corner in the final minutes. Australian midfielder Matthew Butturini scored from an 11th-minute penalty corner, and Jamie Dwyer added Australia’s second with a 35th-minute field goal. The goal was Dwyer’s fourth of the tournament and his 180th for Australia, making him the all-time top scorer for his team, overtaking forward Mark Hager.
Australia had multiple scoring opportunities in the second half but their shots were wide, high or hit the post while Argentina were far less wasteful. The end of game was heated, with green and yellow cards handed out and a video-referral refusal for Argentina that drew loud boos from the crowd, but the score stood at 2-2.
Germany overwhelm India 5-2: Germany taught India hockey lesson with a 5-2 victory in the Pool B game. It was India’s third straight defeat and they are out of medal contention and have to be content to play for minor positions regardless of their results against South Korea and Belgium in their remaining two league games.
The Germans, while recording their third consecutive win, gave a fine exhibition of their efficiency based on strong basics. India after an enthusiastic 15 minutes at the start, simply caved in under pressure. Leading the German charge was 20-year old Florian Fuchs with three strikes (7th, 16th, 37th minutes) and Oliver Korn (24th) and Christopher Wesley (33rd) chipped in with one apiece while India’s goals came from Ramachandra Raghunath, whose 14th minute drag-flick got deflected into the net, and Tushar Khandkar (62nd minute).
Netherlands rout New Zealand 5-1: New Zealand surprised the Dutch with an early Simon Child goal, but the Netherlands replied with five unanswered goals to stay on top in the Pool B with their third win in so many matches. The Netherlands are now virtually assured of a semi-final berth with nine points. On a penalty-corner earned by Robbert Kemperman in the 15th minute after a long run through defenders, Roderick Weusthof’s flick was well saved by Kyle Pontifex in goal for New Zealand but a stroke was given on the play and Weusthof did not miss his second chance to tie the score at 1-1. Play was fast and physical between these two athletic teams, and Billy Bakker earned another penalty-stroke, this time converted by Mink Van Der Weerden to put the Netherlands back on top. The Dutch deepened the gap soon after by Billy Bakker, on hand to deflect in goal a shot by Rogier Hofman who had just run 50 meters with defenders on his heels. The score stayed at 3-1 for the Netherlands going into the break.
Two more goals were scored by Holland in the second session to seal the fate of their rivals. Billy Bakker received a deep ball at full speed to score his second goal of the match, establishing a seemingly insurmountable 4-1 lead for the Netherlands. Robbert Kemperman added the fifth and final goal.
The Daily Times
GB beat Pakistan 4-1
By Anisuddin Khan
GB Hockey President Richard Leman celebrates with Catherine Duchess of Cambridge
LONDON - Encouraged by a huge supportive home crowd waving Union Jacks and playing on their own home soil, the host Great Britain slammed Pakistan 4-1 in an important match of pool A here on Friday.
The defeat would make Pakistan’s chances to reach the semi-final extremely difficult. Two teams from each pool move into the top four positions. What Pakistan needed from this encounter was either a win or a draw to remain on course for the semi-finals but a thorough defeat has spoiled their chances to go anywhere near the semi-final position.
Defending champions Germany and the Netherlands also posted their third straight wins in dazzling style, as Argentina rallied from two down to hold world title-holders Australia Friday. Germany outplayed India 5-2 and the Dutch coasted to a 5-1 victory over New Zealand to consolidate their position for semi-final berths from Pool B. Netherlands are top in the group with a superior goal difference. Australia stay top of Pool A with seven points from three matches despite the 2-2 draw with Argentina. The world number one team have a better goal difference than Great Britain, who also have seven points while Pakistan sit on four points.
The star of Britain’s victory was Ashley Jackson who got two goals first in the 49th minute and later in the 67th minute through a penalty corner. Earlier, three minutes after push off, James Tindall gave Great Britain an early lead through a field goal. Jonty Clarke doubled the home advantage in the 26th minute through a field goal and later, Ashley added his two goals.
Pakistan got the consolation goal in the dying minutes of the contest. Sohail Abbas converted it to make the score 4-1 in favour of the winners. Pakistan wasted their chances in the first session immediately after conceding the first goal. They got enough openings to take a shot at the goal but none of the three chances that could have given them the goal were squandered. Britain retained clear two goal advantage they earned in the first session and that made a big difference. Pakistan play their fourth match of the pool against South Africa tomorrow (Sunday).
Pakistan started the match as favourites. However, Pakistanis were playing against Great Britain on blue pitch on which the host team had more experience of playing. With home crowd thronging the stadium to support what here is called Team GB and supporting it. Great Britain will have stronger psychological advantage. Pakistan should continue to play as they had done against Spain and Argentina.
However, when the match began under brilliant sunshine, Great Britain showed more planning .The host began on attacking style throwing Pakistan on the defensive. The host team moved mostly from the right flank where Pakistan defense look the most brittle. Time and again, Pakistan defense was breached and whenever it happened, the Pakistan goal came under huge pressure.
Group A standings
Team M W T L GF GA GD Pts
Australia 3 2 1 0 13 2 11 7
Great Britain 3 2 1 0 10 4 6 7
Pakistan 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 4
Argentina 3 0 1 2 3 8 -5 1
Spain 2 0 1 1 1 6 -5 1
South Africa 2 0 1 1 2 8 -6 1
Great Britain thrash Pakistan 4-1
-Photo by Reuters
KARACHI: Pakistan lost to hosts Great Britain 4-1 on Friday in the men’s hockey group A match at the London Olympics.
In a brilliant display at the Riverbank Arena, Ashley Jackson scored two goals for the hosts as James Tindall and Jonty Clarke added one each while capain Sohail Abbas pulled one back for Pakistan.
Great Britain were on top from the beginning as Tindall beat goal keeper Imran Shah to open the scoring in the third minute from a tight angle. The hosts finished the first half 2-0 up after Clarke doubled their lead in the 25th minute.
Great Britain extended their lead further in the second half as Jackson scored twice from penalty corners – in the 59th and 66th minutes of the match. The winning margin could have been much bigger if not for the many missed chances.
The Greenshirts’ captain scored one in the dying minutes of the game but it was too late for the 2010 Asian Games’ gold medallists to make a difference to the result.
Britain’s hockey men drew level on points with world champions Australia with the victory.
The hosts were almost unrecognisable from the team which was held to a disappointing 2-2 draw by South Africa two days ago.
“It was very important for us after a nightmare performance against South Africa, but that was a much better performance, there was a lot more fight about us,” Jackson said.
Pakistan opened their hockey campaign at the Olympics with a 1-1 draw against Spain followed by a 2-0 win over Argentina. They next play South Africa on Sunday, August 5.
Duchess Kate cheers hockey team to win on Day 7 of Olympics
By Maria Puente
Catherine Duchess of Cambridge accompanied by GB Hockey president Richard Leman (red shirt) and FIH President Leandro Negre (right) By INDRANIL MUKHERJEE, AFP/Getty Images
Duchess Kate, a former field hockey player in her teens, took in the men's team hockey competition at the Olympics in London today, watching Team GB beat Pakistan.
The former Kate Middleton, now Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, was without her fellow Olympic ambassadors, husband Prince William and brother-in-law Prince Harry. They were busy doing multiple TV interviews (with British media, natch) about their Olympic experiences so far on Day 7 of the Summer Games.
Kate was enthusiastic at the men's hockey match, jumping to her feet, arms in the air, cheering lustily, according to Grazia. She was wearing a navy fleece pull-on over a red shirt and skinny navy jeans with the Stuart Weitzman wedges she has worn during numerous appearances to support Team GB over the past week, according to the HRHDuchessKate blog.
Late today, Will and Kate appeared together at the Aquatics Center to watch the swimming finals; she had changed into a poppy-red jacket with a white top and dark polka dots.
The night before, Will and Kate were even more enthusiastic - throwing their arms around each other, embracing and kissing as the British track cycling team took gold at the Velodrome.
Prince William and wife Duchess Kate embrace celebrating Britain's track cycling gold at London Olympics on Aug. 2, 2012. By Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images
The young royal ambassadors appear to be genuinely jazzed about their Olympic roles and about their team. Kate, a keen hockey player in high school, attracted huge attention for Britain's women players earlier this year when she visited them at practice and took a turn on the field while wearing a pair of coral pink skinny jeans.
Prince William and Duchess Kate watch the swimming finals at Aquatics Center on Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games. By Adam Pretty, Getty Images
All three young royals are expected at various competitions over the weekend.
During their interviews today, William and Harry said they were surprised and delighted, like everyone else, when their grandmother the queen was transformed briefly into a Bond girl, appearing with actor Daniel Craig as James Bond in a hilarious filmed sequence at the Opening Ceremony, one of the inspired bits of British lunacy from director Danny Boyle.
"She did such a good performance that she has now been asked to star in the next Bond film," Will joked in the interview, according to The Mirror.
Will also joked that he "dreaded" the kiss-cam zooming in when he and Kate embraced in the stands during the track cycling competition Thursday night, when Team GB won gold.
Black Sticks Men lose 5-1 to third ranked Netherlands
The Black Sticks Men did all they could to upset the world number three ranked side at Riverbank Arena in London today, but it was the Netherlands who came away with a 5-1 win and gained another three points.
The Black Sticks will need a miracle to book a place in the semi-finals now. With three points after three games, they would have to win the next two games against Belgium and Germany, count on some upsets in other matches, plus rely on goal difference to go their way.
"To go a goal up against Holland early is always in your planning, but Holland came back and played some really good hockey in the later part of the first half. To trail 3-1 is tough against a team that's ranked No. 3 in the world. In an attempt to get those goals back the game opened up," says national coach Shane McLeod.
"Because we were pushing often we put ourselves in situations that were very, very difficult for our defence to get control of. Holland has some classy finishers up front and we ended up paying the price."
Captain Dean Couzins said although the team are disappointed they will turn their attention to the game against Belgium and give it their best.
"You're at an Olympic Games so there's a lot of pride in our team to be able to try to finish as high up as we can," says Couzins.
It was a fiery first half and the Black Sticks held nothing back. The Kiwis got on the board early when Nick Wilson cleverly controlled the ball along the baseline, passing to Simon Child who slotted it in.
A few minutes later the Dutch thought they had scored, but a video referral showed that Teun de Nooijer’s stick was high and the goal was disallowed.
It turned the Netherlands way when Roderick Weusthof and Mink van der Weerden each scored from a penalty stroke, giving them a 2-1 lead.
New Zealand played with real aggression and attacked well with Kyle Pontifex playing exceptionally well and the Kiwi defenders continuously hassling and turning over ball.
Billy Bakker stretched the lead to 3-1 in the 29th minute and then he made it two when he scored in the 55th minute.
The final goal of the game was from Dutch Robbert Kemperman who scored in the 67th minute.
In other games today, Australia drew with Argentina 2-2 and Germany beat India 5-2, Great Britain beat Pakistan 4-1. Games still to play - South Africa vs Spain and Belgium to play Korea.
The Black Sticks will play Belgium at 7.30pm on Sunday (NZ Time) before playing Germany at 8.15am on Wednesday (NZT).
New Zealand 1 (Simon Child) Netherlands (Roderick Weusthof, Mink van der Weerden, Billy Bakker x2, Robbert Kemperman) 5. HT: 1-3
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Couzins concedes medal chances are gone
SIMON PLUMB IN LONDON
MISSED CHANCE: Dean Couzins has said the Black Sticks men's chance at making the semi-finals is as good as gone. IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
Captain Dean Couzins has already written-off the Olympic medal hopes of the men's Black Sticks.
Last night's 5-1 defeat to powerhouse hockey nation the Netherlands hurled New Zealand's Olympic semi-final chances into the realm of extreme improbability, but not impossibility.
They must now win their two remaining group games against minnows Belgium and world number two Germany, needing to significantly raise their goal differential in the process while also hoping other results go their way.
But post-match, Couzins, who consoled himself with news of the Kiwi rowing success which had played out at Eton Dorney during his side's Dutch defeat, appeared to have thrown in the towel.
London 2012, he said, has become a matter of pride and enjoyment.
"The semi-finals are gone, which is pretty disappointing. You work so bloody hard towards stuff, it's hard to take," Couzins said.
"It's important for us to finish as high as we can in the tournament and enjoy playing well with each other, that's what I'd really like to see."
An opening 2-0 loss to Korea has proven to be a wound which just won't stop bleeding.
It meant the Black Sticks would need to roll one of the world's second or third best teams, in Germany and the Netherlands, to have any chance of achieving their lofty pre-Olympic goal of a bronze medal match.
And while the world's seventh-ranked team aren't dead in the water yet, coach Shane McLeod also seemed resigned to the final breath lurking just around the corner.
"It's really tough. A lot of things happen in sport but if you play it through logically, there would have to be a few mathematical things to allow us to get through," McLeod said.
"We just have to make sure we concentrate on each game as it comes now.
"That [Korea loss] made this a must-win, hence the importance of this game comes through."
Making the Dutch loss even harder to swallow was New Zealand made a perfect start to the game, with Simon Child slotting home in the fifth minute.
But before the first half was out, New Zealand had slipped to 3-1 down against a side they haven't beaten since August 2010.
"To get a goal against Holland straight off was a perfect start," McLeod said.
"To see it dwindle away is obviously disappointing."
The Black Sticks were better than the scoreboard suggested however, conceding two goals in the second half after they were forced to chase the game.
Black Sticks thumped by the Netherlands 5-1
SIMON PLUMB IN LONDON
HEAVY LOSS: The Netherlands celebrate a goal against the Black Sticks men. Getty Images
A hammer-blow has been dealt to the men's Black Sticks' Olympic chances, going down 5-1 the Netherlands.
Needing to win at least two of their final three pool games to have any chance of making the knockout phase, the Dutch defeat means victory against world number two Germany on Wednesday is compulsory.
It could even be over before that, should New Zealand fail to beat Belgium on Sunday.
Things looked good early on against the Dutch when Simon Child slotted home a simple reverse stick shot into an unguarded net in the fifth minute.
But a skilful Dutch attack, and a slice of bad luck, undid Shane McLeod's side.
Goals from Roderick Weusthof, Mink van der Weerden and Billy Bakker gave Holland full control at halftime, 3-1 up.
There was to be no recovery and the Kiwis now find themselves on thin ice.
After conceding in the first minute during their 3-1 win over India, the Black Sticks, knowing their Olympic tournament was on the line, came out fighting against the world's third-ranked team.
Pressing the Dutch tenaciously in defence for the first five minutes, New Zealand launched a counter attack and were able to catch the men in orange napping.
Nick Wilson beat his man down the left flank and when goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann was drawn, Wilson pulled back for Child to dispatch simply.
Two minutes later Holland thought they'd equalised when Teun de Nooijer's lofted strike was brilliantly steered into the roof of the net by Sander de Wijn.
But the Kiwis called for a video referral and it clearly showed de Wijn's stick was too high and the goal was wiped.
Still, the leveller wasn't far away, though the Black Sticks can count themselves unlucky.
New Zealand goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex, who was impressive all game, produced a good reaction save from a Weusthof drag flick, but when the rebound fell to de Wijn, his goal-bound shot hit the thigh of a helpless Blair Hopping who was trying to turn out of the way.
A penalty flick was awarded and Weusthof made no mistake.
Soon after, New Zealand's lead was completely flipped when the Dutch were awarded another spot flick.
Ryan Archibald's foot stopped the ball near the goal line and this time it was van der Weerden's turn to rifle home.
Bakker's field goal, a tap in with captain Dean Couzins desperately trying to intercept, was a dagger just 30 minutes into the match.
Committing men forward, the Black Sticks tried to reduce the deficit and had a couple of half chances thwarted by Stockmann.
Bakker's second of the match in the 45th minute and a stunning reverse stick shot from Robbert Kemperman three minutes from the hooter confirmed the mountain the Black Sticks now have to climb.
New Zealand's next game is against Belgium on Sunday, 7.30pm.
For Indian hockey fans, a dream comes to an end
Bobilli Vijay Kumar
Indian hockey fans didn't have to wait for the morning after to realise that they had been living a dream.
It had dawned on many in the run-up to the Olympics itself, when the team set out to check the world; for the rest, it became clear in the opening round of the Games. Against The Netherlands, a force in transition, India flattered to deceive.
In the first half, they were clearly overawed; in the second, they were clueless. Yes, they did brilliantly to recover from a two-goal deficit; but just when the pressure was shifting, when they were falling into a rhythm, they conceded a third. It was their point of no return.
In the next match, they might as well have been invisible; New Zealand used their speed, strength and power to cast a spell on them. Yes, India surged into the lead in the first minute itself; but that was about as long that their joy lasted.
In the next 18, they broke down thrice to yield a 1-3 lead; they just couldn't find the resolve, the ideas or the moves to launch a fight-back, let alone a comeback. There was a hint of life in the second half but that proved to be a false alarm.
If India were living on hope till then, they needed a miracle now. They were up against Germany, the defending champs. India needed a victory, or at least a draw, to somehow stay in the hunt for a medal.
They began viciously, attacking from all the flanks; but a defensive lapse in the seventh minute, and a tennis-like shot from Florian Fuchs, saw them fall behind. R Raghunath equalised in the 14th, off a penalty corner. That is where the game ended. The Germans laid siege on the Indian half, relying on a mixture of long, powerful passes and sharp, incisive moves in the D to slam in goals. They were fast, aggressive and almost unstoppable; the defence just didn't know whom to watch and whom to thwart.
As if that was not enough, India couldn't find the space to move ahead either; they were marked like shadows, making it almost impossible to shake them off, forget get past them. The final scoreline, 2-5, was a true reflection of the difference between the two teams.
India clearly have been left behind in this race; yes, they did well to be back in the Olympic field. But they still have a long way to go before they can compete as equals at the world level. Until then, hockey fans can only dream of a new dawn.
The Times of India
India lose to Germany, out of semifinal race in hockey
India's Raghunath Vr (left) and Germany Thilo Stralkowski get tangled during their men's hockey preliminary round match at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Friday.
LONDON: India slumped to a humiliating 2-5 defeat against formidable Germany in Group B and went out of reckoning for a berth in the semifinals of the men's hockey competition at the London Games here today.
Facing a must-win situation following two straight defeats in their first two games, India put up a pathetic display and allowed the Germans to dictate terms almost right through the match.
The Indians were no match for their speedy rivals and their defence was split open at will by the Germans.
Young striker Florian Fuchs (7th minute, 16th, and 36th) scored a brilliant hat-trick for the Germans, while Oliver Korn (24th) and Christopher Wesley (33rd) were the other goal-getters for the European giants.
For India, VR Raghunath (13th) and Tushar Kahndker (62nd) reduced the margin of defeat.
India are now out of the semi-final race after having tasted defeats in their first three matches. They lost to The Netherlands 2-3 and New Zealand 1-3 in their opening two fixtures.
The eight-time champions, who have returned to the Olympic fold after eight years, are lying sixth and last in Group B.
The Bharat Chetri-led team, coached by Australian Michael Nobbs, will now have to fight for minor placings.
India will now face Korea on Sunday before finishing off their group campaign against Belgium on August 7.
The Netherlands and Germany are leading the chart with three wins from as many games. Korea are placed second with three points from two games just ahead of New Zealand, who have garnered three points from three matches.
For the third consecutive match, the defence let India down again as Germany scored all their five goals through field play.
Indian strikers, however, played slightly better than the previous two outings and even earned five penalty corners, out of which Ragunath converted just one.
The match began with India getting an equal share of early moves, breaking into the rival circle twice but the German defence cleared the crosses from Khandker and S V Sunil without any problems.
Repeatedly going deep into the Indian territory through their well-oiled combinations, Germany opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Fuchs beat two defenders with a reverse hit from an acute angle.
Within a minute, India forced a penalty corner at the other end, only for Sandeep Singh's slow grounder shot to be cleared by the stick of goalkeeper Max Weinhold diving to his right.
Raghunath equalised for India in the 13th minute from India's second penalty corner as he sent a low drag flick into the boards, to the left of the German custodian.
The Germans then enjoyed an extended period of domination, breaking into the Indian circle almost at will with the defenders in disarray.
Fuchs scored his second goal from a rebound in the 16th minute by picking up a loose ball.
The Germans came close to adding another goal in the 20th minute when unmarked striker Christopher Zeller was allowed to create space inside the circle after picking a long diagonal ball, but his shot went slightly wide of the post.
The Indian defence came under sustained pressure as the Germans broke into the scoring circle four times in as many minutes.
They were soon rewarded with their third goal in the 24th minute as Korn scooped a rebound into the net after Sreejesh blocked the first shot.
Wesley made it 4-1 for Germany one minute before half-time as he trapped a pass inside the circle and slotted the ball into the boards with three Indian defenders unable to challenge him.
Two minutes into the second half, Fuchs capitalised on a move from the right flank to make it 5-1 before Germany earned the first of their three penalty corners. The Germans, however, failed to score from any of their penalty corners.
Playing a better game upfront in the second half, Indian strikers managed to earn five penalty corners. Sandeep was on pitch to take the penalty corner on two occasions, but failed to make any impression, while German goalkeeper Weinhold used his stick to clear Raghunath's low shot in the other.
Gurwinder Singh Chandi muffed an opening created by Sunil's cross from right as he failed to control the ball in the 47th minute.
Khandker scored the second goal for India seven minutes from the final hooter as he flicked past the German goalkeeper from the right.
The Times of India
Nobbs says team lacks mental toughness
Three losses on the trot has left the Indian team in tatters.
Michael Nobbs' men were never considered among the medal prospects at the London 2012 Games, but the manner of defeats have brought forth a lot of questions. India have now conceded 11 goals in three matches, scoring just five.
Is this the end of the road, or are India learning from the bitter experiences at the 2012 London Games?
It was hard to fathom what was wrong with the team, who were handed a 2-5 hammering by defending champions Germany today. Just about nothing seemed to be going right... There was no co-ordination among the strikers, the midfield doesn't look beyond the ever solid Sardar Singh, while the defence was almost negligent.
An elderly Indian gentleman in the crowd commented, "Wasn't it better when we had not qualified? At least we will not have to go through this heartbreak everyday," summing up India's play on the day.
Coach Michael Nobbs said it was time to ask some tough questions. India, placed at the bottom of the table in Group B, are now left to fight for the bottom six places.
"The Germans were too good today. They were a lesson on how to play hockey, and we are just not there. Normally Germany do not play such attacking hockey, and it was different style of play that we witnessed," Nobbs said after the game.
"As for us, we were unable to execute any of our plans. I think rather than complaining, we should try and find answers within ourselves.
"We have the right skills, but do not have enough strength and mental toughness." India now face Korea and Belgium in their last two league matches on August 5 and August 7 respectively, but going by their display so far, the road ahead looks extremely difficult. Skipper Bharat Chetri said making the same mistakes again and again was costing the team. "We are not learning from our mistakes and there is no way a team can win like this," he said.
German coach Marcus Weiss was a picture of composure after the match. Asked if he was expecting such a margin of win (5-2), the coach replied in the negative.
"No, not at all. India are always a dangerous side and we were expecting a hard game. But that did not happen.
"I am surprised with the scoreline, but I would take it happily. We could not score from the penalty corners, but field goals came in plenty and they were enough for us to win."
Captain Chetri says Indian team not learning from mistakes
LONDON: Indian hockey captain Bharat Chetri says the team is not learning from its mistakes and it is becoming a serious problem after three straight defeats in the Olympic Games.
Dejected at the 2-5 defeat by reigning Olympic champions Germany on Friday that left India at the bottom of the pool with no point from three outings, Chetri said errors were being repeated in one match after another.
"We are committing the same mistakes in every match," Chetri said.
"Errors have crept into our game. But instead of learning not to repeat them we just go on and make the same mistakes in the next game. It is not looking very nice," the captain said.
"This has become a serious problem, and it could cost us a lot more in the matches to come," he said.
Before Friday's match against Germany, India suffered a 2-3 defeat by The Netherlands and a 1-3 reversal against New Zealand.
Ranked No. 10 the world, India are back in the Olympic arena after eight years as the men's hockey team failed to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Coach Michael Nobbs said Germany on Friday gave India a lesson in how to play attacking hockey.
"Germany deserved to win, but what they did today was give us a lesson in attacking hockey," Nobbs said, adding that Germany was one of the world's best teams in defense but today's display was entirely different.
"I did not expect such an attacking display of hockey by Germany, who are the premier defensive side in the world," he said.
Nobbs said there was "only an inkling of this in previous matches".
The coach said India were not competitive for the third successive match.
"We're improving in some areas, but we have problems in the team," said Nobbs, refusing to elaborate the issues.
The coach said India were not contenders for the semifinals, but wanted to give a good account of themselves.
"Getting back among the top teams is a long process, but we should have played better than what we have done so far," said Nobbs.
German coach Marcus Weise said the scoreline indicated the side's domination.
"We were in control of the game for most of the time, but we lost a bit of it in the last 15 minutes," said Weise.
"We had lot of chances and even though we did not score from any penalty corner, we scored five field goals and that's a good thing," he said.
Asked why was he not sounding happy despite Germany winning three successive matches and sharing space at the top of the table on nine points with the Netherlands, Weise said, "It's not about happiness or satisfaction. It is about goals and getting results."
"I don't know if I am happier today than I was two days ago. It does not matter if I am happy, we got the result and that's the most important thing," the German coach said.
"We have three wins, which is nice, but nothing has been achieved yet," Weise said. "It's not about my optimism or pessimism, it's about the next task."
The Times of India
Defence exposed, what is captain Chetri's role?
Scoreline could have been more humiliating than Germany's 5-2 victory, says former India hockey captain
The Indian defence stands exposed after just three matches at the Olympic Games. Look at the way the German forwards found and created open spaces inside the circle and you will wonder whatever happened to the defenders.
It was not always the counter-attacks that left the defenders stranded out of place. Frequently, the Indian defenders were reduced to mere spectators as one German striker after another picked up passes from long-range shots deep inside the Indian territory and then moved into the circle effortlessly with no one to challenge them. It was not a pleasing picture.
Giving away soft goals continues to be India's bane. A more worrisome aspect is that an Indian outfit continues to turn up for the matches, but without the elements that make a team.
The players donning the Indian colours are not putting up a combined show and that is a very sorry situation. Just a few individual skills are getting showcased, while the team effort does not seem to be in the frame.
The scoreline could have been more humiliating than Germany's 5-2 victory in this match. After two listless matches, all Indian hockey lovers were expecting to see some improvement, but very little was visible.
Conceding five goals is one thing. Being relieved that more goals were not scored shows utter deficiency.
Look at the way German striker Florian Fuchs, who scored three goals, and Oliver Korn found easy passage into the Indian circle and slotted the balls into the goal.
It seemed odd that playing India, Germany did not seem to need a serious contribution from star player Christopher Zeller. Germany are determined to prove a point to those berating their chances despite beginning the competition as the reigning Olympic champions.
Form India's point of view, a curious aspect in the current outing is the national squad's captaincy. What is captain Bharat Chetri's role if he is not even the first-choice goalkeeper in key matches!
Appointing a goalkeeper as captain and then having a back-up custodian in a 16-member squad when the rest of the world has moved on to select just one goalkeeper presents an very odd scenario.
India stands out among the participating teams for including two goalkeepers in the 16-member squad for the London Olympic Games, and still our goal's defence does not seem to be in steady hands.
Leading India is a big honour, but Chetri needs to introspect his position. It seems odd that player who has not stood in the Indian goal regularly in the past six or seven tournaments is now leading the team which has several player senior to him.
It makes one wonder if the national federation, the selectors and also the coaching staff's knowledge has not been updated! How has this situation been allowed to develop, and what is the reason for India fielding two goalkeepers at the London Olympics.
What needs scrutiny is whether the team's interests have been compromised by the outdated knowledge of personnel involved in crucial matters like the national squad's selection.
From its performance, this team does not seem to have been trained physically or mentally for competing against top sides. And so much money has been spent by the government and the national federation in arranging preparatory camps, participation international tournaments and international staff.
What is clearly evident now is that the India team was not fortified to play top-class opposition. Would that only happen after the Olympic Games are over!
Day 7 Olympic Preview - Great Britain v China
Olympics 2012 Beth Storry
Great Britain women's penultimate pool match is against China, who are ranked 5th in the world.
Fixture: Great Britain v China
Date and time: 04/08/12 - 16.00
Location: Riverbank Arena
Watch live on BBC: Olympics 8 (red button for Sky, Virgin and Freesat)
Great Britain #4
Head to Head Record
Goals For: 14
Goals Against: 7
China was another opponent that GB defeated at the Olympic Test Event in May 2012. GB won 3 – 0 with Crista Cullen scoring two penalty corner strikes, either side of a goal from Susie Gilbert. The two teams also came up against each other in the Champions Trophy in Rosario with GB winning 3 – 1. Crista Cullen again scored twice from penalty corners but this time the third goal was scored by Ashleigh Ball.
Player to watch: Great Britain
Born and brought up in Reading, GB goalkeeper Beth Storry is rated as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Named in the 2010 World All Stars Team, Beth played a significant role in England’s triple medal winning year of 2010, picking up bronze medals at the World Cup, Champions Trophy andOlympics 2012 Beth Storry Commonwealth Games. She was also critical to Great Britain’s silver medal success at the 2012 Champions Trophy in Rosario. At the recent Olympic Test Event, Beth was in outstanding form and kept clean sheets in all four of GB’s matches, including both games against Argentina, who are ranked number two in the world.
Players to watch: China
We asked the GB players who they considered the players to watch are: China
Name: Song Qingling
Qingling knows exactly what to expect at an Olympic Games having been part of the Chinese team that won silver at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. She is an incredibly quick, strong and skilful player and also the playmaker for China.
Name: Zhao Yudiao
Position: Attacking midfield
As the 2011 FIH Young Player of the Year, Yudiao is an exciting talent. Her movement and pinpoint accuracy when shooting at goal means she can be incredibly dangerous when going forward.
Great Britain Hockey media release
Hockeyroos Embrace Early Start Ready For South Africa
Maddona Blyth takes on Rachel Dawson, USA. Image Grant Treeby
The Hockeyroos are back in action and will start favourites against South Africa after firing back into medal contention....Congratulations to Casey Eastham playing in her 150th international...
Game: August 4, 5.20pm LIVE(AEST) Foxtel and Channel 9(Limited)
It’s an early start for the Hockeyroos this morning as they prepare to take on South Africa at Riverbank Arena in London.
Australia must finish in the top two of pool B to advance to the finals, so a win against their opponent ranked 12th in the world is a must.
They Hockeyroos will start favourites but nothing is ever a certainty and this was evident last night when the Kookaburras had a scare against Argentina.
After a disappointing 0-1 loss to New Zealand to start their Olympic campaign, Australia has fired back into medal contention with an upset 3-1 victory over Germany ranked three in the world and a 1-0 win over the USA. The Americans were in top form after downing a stunned Argentina.
The Hockeyroos created plenty of scoring opportunities against the USA but did not always capitalise and this will need to improve as they approach the business end of the tournament.
Anna Flanagan has stepped up, scoring twice so far off superb penalty corner drag flicks at crucial moments in the past two games and will need to continue to impress.
Australian goal keeper Toni Cronk has been the stand out with three brilliant games under her belt, culminating in a brilliant performance against the USA where she saved a stroke and deflected numerous shots to keep Australia in the game.
Casey Eastham has been a work horse in midfield and it’s expected she will become more dominant as the games progress because of her exceptional fitness level.
Australia will hope to lift for Eastham, who will take to the field in her 150th international.
The Australians will not underestimate the South Africans however with some very talented players amongst their ranks, most notably dynamic strike forward Pietie Coetzee, who is also a drag flick specialist.
Coetzee became the all-time leading goal scorer in the women’s game last year and has scored over 220 goals for her country.
The 33-year-old broke the 20 year old record held by Russia’s Natalya Krasnikova when she converted four goals against the USA at the Champions Challenge in Dublin. She is definitely a weapon that will need to be defused.
Hockey Australia media release
Pressure on Black Sticks
By Dylan Cleaver
Nine has been identified as the magic number. It's the number of points New Zealand women's hockey coach Mark Hager says his side needs to have in the bag before they take on Germany in their final pool match.
"There's four teams on six points now," Hager said of a topsy-turvy pool that sees New Zealand, Germany, Australia and Argentina on six points each with two wins and a loss from three matches.
The Black Sticks missed an opportunity to give themselves some breathing room when a passive first half and some sloppy finishing cost them a 1-2 loss to Argentina.
"We have to beat the US to give ourselves a chance against Germany [in the final Pool B match on Monday]. It's a simple fact, we have to get to nine points," Hager said.
The Americans have been competitive and combative in London, beating Argentina 1-0 and taking Australia to the wire before losing 0-1.
"They're a really physical, aggressive team," said Krystal Forgesson. "They play Argentina a lot, so for them to beat them was almost expected.
It's like us and Australia. All the teams in our pool can beat each other; that's the beauty of it."
Aggressiveness was something that was lacking for the first half against Argentina, as they seemed content to sit back and soak up pressure, rather than take the game to the world's No2-ranked side. "We were a bit apprehensive at times and the score reflected that," Cathryn Finlayson said.
"We weren't really playing our style but at halftime we had a bit of a rark-up. We went back to our normal style of hockey, being a bit more attacking and having that aggressiveness, which we were lacking."
The return of midfielder Emily Naylor should add some starch. Naylor was set to play her 200th international but was withdrawn on the afternoon of the match with a back injury. Hager said the decision was more a precautionary measure.
Argentina scored an early, soft goal to Carla Rebecchi after a rare error by captain Kayla Sharland.
Midway through the second half Finlayson made a superb run into the circle but gave the keeper too easy a save with her first shot, then fluffed the rebound.
She then could only watch in horror as Argentina counterattacked and Rebecchi scored again.
The Black Sticks pulled one back through Charlotte Harrison and were finishing the stronger side, but ran out of time.
The New Zealand Herald
Black Sticks women prepare for USA threat
JONATHAN MILLMOW IN LONDON
PAINFUL BLOW: Anita Punt in action against Argentina. LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ
In a measure of how far the Black Sticks women have come in the last couple of weeks, they were carrying long faces after their 2-1 loss to world No 2 Argentina at the Olympics yesterday.
In the past, coming within a goal of Argentina might've been grounds for a small party, but Kayla Sharland summed up the situation perfectly after the late night game in London.
"I'm used to losing to the Argentineans by three or four goals so it is good to get close, but I'm disappointed not to get there," she said.
Pool B is not called the pool of death for nothing.
As many predicted it has turned into a tight race, with four teams (Germany, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand) on six points with two rounds remaining.
The Black Sticks' next up opponent is the United States, but before you get excited they have beaten Argentina 1-0 and lost narrowly to Germany (2-1) and Australia (1-0).
Black Sticks coach Mark Hager regards the US as a genuine threat heading into tomorrow's match (6am NZ time).
"We've always thought they would be a threat," Hager said.
"They run all day, they are courageous, they are well coached by Lee Bodimeade and they are hard to score against so they are going to be a hard team to crack."
The Black Sticks have to win, or, at worst, draw. If they lose then a victory over world No 3 Germany on Tuesday may not be enough.
"I think we are in a good spot still," Hager said.
"If you had of told me we would only have one loss after three games I'd have taken it quite comfortably. The disappointing thing is we blew a chance (against Argentina) to kick away from the group but that is life."
Goal difference could yet to be a factor. The Black Sticks are +3, Argentina +4, Australia +2 and Germany +1. However, Hager is not contemplating that scenario yet.
"For us we have to win the next game, we are not concerned about that," Hager said.
"We have to get to nine points after four games. I'd rather go into the last day needing to win rather than needing to worry about goal difference."
The Black Sticks expect to have Emily Naylor back tomorrow.
She withdrew from the Argentina game with a recurrence of her bulging disc problem but Hager said the injury normally settled down after a couple of days. Naylor was down to play her 200th game.
Sharland was not making any excuses after the loss to Argentina.
She was at fault for the first goal when she failed to collect a pass from Clarissa Eshuis.
"I made a missed trap and they pounced on it and got a good shot away. Just bad basics."
She also said the 9.15pm start was not an excuse for their slow beginning. Their previous two games have been early morning affairs, resulting in victories.
"We have practised it before. It was just a very long day waiting around."
Anita Punt took a painful blow on an elbow late in the game but Hager did not believe it was serious.
Make or break for Black Sticks against USA
SIMON PLUMB IN LONDON
DOUBLE CENTURY: Emily Naylor could play her 200th game for the Black Sticks today. IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
This morning the women's Black Sticks could plant an important step towards an Olympic semi-final - and a guaranteed shot at a medal.
Locked in a four-way tie at the top of Pool B with Argentina, Germany and Australia, victory against the United States tomorrow is crucial to safely positioning Mark Hager's team with one round-robin match of the hockey tournament left to play.
Barring a miracle, Australia will beat South Africa in the next round, a team who have conceded 13 goals in losing all three games so far. And with the task of world number three Germany in their final pool game, New Zealand must keep pace at the top by putting the Americans to the sword.
With Germany and Argentina set to take points off each other when they meet tomorrow, a high-scoring win over the USA would probably leave the women's team requiring just a draw against the Germans to qualify for the semi-finals.
The 10th-ranked Americans have been impressive at London 2012 however, recording a shock 1-0 win over gold medal favourites Argentina and fighting well against top three team Germany in a 2-1 loss.
Essential to New Zealand's chances is recovering momentum from Friday morning's 2-1 defeat to Argentina, a game in which New Zealand played well and perhaps should have snatched a draw.
The good news is that since the women's team's horror 2008 Games in Beijing, in which they lost every single match including a 2-1 defeat to the USA, New Zealand has won six of the last seven meetings against tomorrow's opponents.
Their most recent encounter, in Auckland four months ago, resulted in a 3-2 Kiwi win and the Americans have to go back to September 2011 for their last positive result against a side much improved under Hager.
It's also a game which could see Emily Naylor land her 200th cap, currently stuck on 199 and battling a niggling back injury.
For Hager, who has taken the national women's team by the scruff the neck and hauled them from 12th in the world rankings to sixth, the next week could prove his crowning glory as a coach.
Himself a two-time Olympian, if the Australian could guide New Zealand to a medal it would be one of the most dramatic turnarounds world hockey has seen in the space of a single Olympic cycle.
Top 10 women's matches in U.S. field hockey history
Written by Chip Rogers. Rogers is the Assistant Coach at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Rogers is one of the foremost authorities on field hockey history in the United States. He maintained all statistics and records for Divisions I, II and III from 1997-2008 until the NCAA took over. He is the administrator of the Fieldhockeycorner.com website, which has been used by coaches, players and fans as a resource for schedules, results, rankings, statistics and polls for all three divisions of NCAA field hockey for the past 10 years.
10. 2-2 draw vs. Argentina, 2008 Olympic Games (Beijing, CHN)
The U.S. did not lose to Las Leonas for the first time in Olympic competition, and the Americans made it clear they were not afraid by them when playing on a big stage. Argentina opened up the game with a pair of goals by Carla Rebecchi in the first 11 minutes before Keli Smith brought the Americans back within one, seven minutes later off a corner, and Angie Loy’s goal in the 64th minute tied the game, making a huge statement for the USA.
9. 1-1 tie vs. Germany, 1996 Olympic Games (Atlanta, USA)
This game, the 5th in the tournament for the Americans, gave the USA a much-needed point that kept them in the hunt for a finish in the top-half of the pool. After the Germans took the lead in the 3rd minute, Marcia Pankratz scored on a corner in the 54th minute to give the USA a tie. With the 2-0 win over Spain on the final day, the USA secured a fifth-place finish.
8. 3-1 win vs. India, 2002 World Cup Qualifier (Brussels, BEL)
In the final match of a three-game series that had changed locations and dates multiple times, due to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Tracy Fuchs scored twice as the USA roared back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to book their ticket to the 2002 World Cup in Perth.
7. 3-2 win vs. Korea, 1996 Olympic Games (Atlanta, USA)
After goals by Marcia Pankratz and Tracy Fuchs put the USA up 2-0 at halftime, the Koreans came back with a pair of goals to tie the game. The Americans earned the three points as Barb Marois scored a penalty corner goal in the final seconds of the game to defeat the eventual silver medalists.
6. 2-1 win vs. Holland, 1994 World Cup (Dublin, IRL)
This first-ever win over the Dutch in pool play helped the USA stay undefeated through three games in the World Cup, setting the Americans up for a berth in the semifinals. A Leslie Lyness goal off a corner in the first half gave the Americans a brief lead before the two-time defending gold medalists tied the game minutes later. Marcia Pankratz gave the USA the lead for good in the 31st minute, and the Americans weathered the storm in the second half for the monumental victory.
5. 3-1 win vs. Belgium, 2008 Olympic Qualifier (Kazan, RUS)
After two successive Olympic qualifier heartbreakers, the USA returned to the Olympic Games with a thundering win over upstart Belgium. Kayla Bashore redirected a Kelly Doton pass to put the Americans on the board first, but Belgium converted a corner minutes later to tie it up. Tiffany Snow, the tournament’s leading scorer, hit her sixth goal off a Kate Barber pass to take the lead for good. Captain Barber then scored an insurance goal to send the Americans to Beijing.
4. 1-0 win vs. Argentina, 2012 Olympic Games (London, GBR)
A Shannon Taylor goal in the first half stood up as the Americans kept up their recent dominance of Las Leonas as the USA defeated world No. 2 Argentina for the first time in the Olympic Games.
3. 1-1 tie vs. Germany, 1984 Olympic Games (Los Angeles, USA)
Playing in their first Olympics, the USA needed to get at least a point off Germany to be in contention for bronze. The Americans took the lead on the eventual silver medalists with a Beth Anders goal off a corner, but the Germans came back to tie the game. The point gave the USA a chance to finish third in the standings…and when Holland defeated Australia 2-0 later in the day, the USA came out of the stands to take part in the strokeoff, which they won to bring home the bronze.
2. 2-1 win vs. Germany, 1994 World Cup (Dublin, IRL)
Playing in the bronze medal game for the first time in a World Cup or Olympic Games, the USA defeated the Germans after tying them earlier in pool play. A Tracy Fuchs goal off a rebound in the 14th minute of play gave the USA a 1-0 lead, and they doubled that lead when Barb Marois scored off a direct corner shot to give the Americans a 2-0 lead into halftime. The Germans pounded the American circle for the majority of the second half, but Patty Shea kept the Europeans off the board with just minutes to play. The USA kept the ball in the German zone for the remainder of the game, and the Americans walked away from the World Cup with a bronze.
1. 4-2 win vs. Argentina, 2011 Pan American Games (Guadalajara, MEX)
The Americans defeated nemesis Argentina for the first time in a major competition and struck Pan Am gold for the first time. Four different goal scorers showed the versatility of the American offense, and the USA defense frustrated the seven-time Pan Am gold medalists, sending the Americans to the Olympic Games with an automatic bid for the first time in history.
All statements in this article are Roger's personal opinion
USFHA media release
Duchess of Cambridge visits Team GB Hockey
Duchess of Cambridge visits Olympic Park
On Tuesday, the Duchess of Cambridge became the latest royal visitor to stop by GB Hockey’s houses in the Olympic Village. Richard Mantell exclusively talks us through her visit.
“We were very honoured to have the Duchess of Cambridge come visit us in our little flat,” he tells greatbritainhockey.co.uk. “It was really nice to show her around. She had a little look in the lounge and checked out all of our motivational cards that were sent in to us and pinned up on our walls.”
The timing of her visit could not have been more perfect. She arrived while the GB women were in action at the Riverbank Arena, taking on Korea in their second match of the tournament.
Duchess of Cambridge visits Team GB Hockey
“We were able to watch some of the girls’ game as well. The girls were actually live on the TV at the time and they’d just scored to go 4-3 up as she came in so we were able to talk her through the goal. As a keen supporter of the girls and us she was very interested.”
For most people finding out they were to have a royal visitor, it would spark an outbreak of cleaning, scrubbing and tidying. But not our guys, as Richard explains. “We gave her a full tour of the flat and took her into my, Cat (Nick Catlin) and Harry’s (Harry Martin) room. Harry’s area probably wasn’t the tidiest area in the room but she said she was more than used to it because her brother’s room’s much more untidy. We had a bit of a chat about what it’s like sharing rooms and how we’re lucky to have two flats for the hockey team so we’re able to all be together and spend good time together.
"She asked, ‘Have you had a quick tidy up when you heard I was coming?’ And I had to admit ‘unfortunately no, we should have done but we haven’t had time’. She managed to turn a blind eye to the kit hanging up on the dryer!”
Avoiding the dirty kit, the Duchess kept her attention fully focused on the GB women’s match on the TV. Having met the teams at a training session earlier this year, she was keen to follow their progress.
“She stood and watched some of the end of the girls’ game with us,” added Richard. “We watched Georgie’s goal. It went to the video referral and they checked to see if the goal was to stand. The Duchess was definitely a little bit nervous to see if it was going to be given.”
Such is the bond she has developed with the GB hockey teams, the Duchess was later revealed to have sent a hand written personal letter to GB women’s captain Kate Walsh while she was in hospital recovering from surgery on her fractured jaw.
Great Britain Hockey media release
Austria and Poland are next up for Scots
Austria and Poland in Poznan are next up for the Scotland men`s squad this weekend as they continue their build-up for the first round of the inaugural World League at the end of next month.
It is crucial that the Scots qualify for the next round, not only because the World League is an ultimate qualifier for the 2014 World Cup after four rounds, but the failure to progress beyond the opening round would crucify any hint of progress under new coach Derek Forsyth.
Although the results in earlier build-up games have been mixed, there are fresh signs that Forsyth has instilled a new sense of purpose in his new charges. The 2-2 draw and a couple of narrow defeats against World number five Spain, the 3-0 defeat of Wales in the recent Celtic Cup, and scoring 11 goals in three games in the same tournament are definitely encouraging. Perhaps even more hopeful is that at last Scotland seem to have found a talented set piece expert in Durham University`s Dan Coultas, he scored no fewer than five times in the narrow 6-5 defeat by South Africa, a side ten places above the Scots in the world ranking. With penalty corners such a crucial part of the modern game, all top sides have at least one expert striker, so Coultas could be Scotland`s secret weapon in the World League campaign.
Although the Scotland side has been hit be withdrawals, manager Eugene Connolly sees the games against Austria and Poland as important in the preparation programme. "These teams are close to us in the world rankings so we can assess our progress, but they also play a similar style to the sides we will meet in the World League." There, the Scots are up against hosts Portugal, Italy, Morocco and Gibraltar in a single pool competition, with the top two moving on to the next round.
The loss of experienced campaigners Alan Forsyth, Michael Bremner, Chris Nelson, Niall Stott and Chris Grassick will undoubtedly weaken the side for Poznan, but it is a chance for the management to assess others before final selection for Portugal. "We have a lot of youngsters in the present side, and this weekend will give them more experience on the international stage," said Connolly. So Poznan is the chance for Ian Moodie, Callum Duke, goalkeeper Phil Carr and new cap Clydesdale`s Fraser Hirst to shine, but also there is also a recall for Inverleith defender Adam MacKenzie.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Firhan and Fitri pull out of Europe playing tour
By AFTAR SINGH
Rest: Mohd Firhan Ashaari and Mohd Fitri Saari have been playing non-stop since the Sultan of Johor Cup in November. Rest: Mohd Firhan Ashaari and Mohd Fitri Saari have been playing non-stop since the Sultan of Johor Cup in November.
KUALA LUMPUR: National players Mohd Firhan Ashaari and Mohd Fitri Saari have opted out of the Project 2013 squad’s playing tour of Europe next week.
However, five new faces will be among 19 players leaving for Europe on Wednesday to play in seven friendly matches.
The five are Safeed Roslan, Mohd Azwar Abdul Rahman, Sobirin Ilias, Mohd Najib Abu Hassan and Meor Mohd Azuan Hasan.
All five were called up for training three weeks ago based on their performance in last month’s Pahang Sukma.
Project 2013 squad coach K. Dharmaraj said that Firhan and Fitri, who featured in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh in May, had requested to be left out of the tour as they needed a break from hockey.
“The two have been playing almost non-stop since last year’s Sultan of Johor Cup in November. I agreed to let them take a break as it will also give me the chance to check out the five new players in Europe,” said Dharmaraj, who added that he was impressed with the newcomers’ performance.
“I want to see how they perform in the seven friendlies in Europe.”
Three of them – Safeed, Azwar and Najib will be sitting for their SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) examinations in November.
The Project squad will play two matches each against the Spain, France and Poland national junior teams.
They will also play one match against a Dutch club before returning home on Aug 19 for the Hari Raya celebrations.
Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri, Mohd Hafizuddin Othman, Faiz Helmi Jali, Shahzrul Imran Nazli, Mohd Rashid Baharom, G. Kavin Kartik, Mohd Azri Hassan, Mohd Hafiz Zainol,Mohd Aslam Mohd Hanafiah, Shahzril Irwan Nazli, Mohd Fariq Saadon, Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof, Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Mohd Zulhairi Hashim, Safeed Roslan, Mohd Azwar Abdul Rahman, Sobirin Ilias, Mohd Najib Hassan, Meor Mohd Azuan Hasan
The Star of Malaysia