On Day 1 of the Men’s Hockey Competition at London 2012, Great Britain and Australia of Pool A, Netherlands, Korea and Germany from Pool B earned full points from their respective matches while Spain and Pakistan shared the points as they played a draw. Spanish Captain Santiago FREIXA is ruled out of the rest of competition after suffering from broken arm during the match against Pakistan. FREIXA will be replaced by defense man Andres MIR BEL.
Great Britain vs Argentina 4-1 (1-0 half-time)
A double for Great Britain Captain Barry Middleton and a goal each for Dan Fox and Richard Smith ensured that Great Britain men got their London 2012 Olympics campaign off to a great start with a 4-1 victory over Argentina at the Riverbank Arena. For Argentina Ibarra pulled one back at the 55th Minute. (Detailed report: Great Britain Men’s Hockey Team Defeated Argentina 4-1)
For more info on GBR vs ARG, click here (FIH Website).
Netherlands vs India 3-2 (2-0 half-time)
Indian Hockey Team returned to Olympics after missing the Beijing Games in 2008 after they failed to qualify for the first time in history. Eight time Olympics Gold Medallists India are building up towards golden glory again, and the responsibility lies with former Kookaburra Michael Nobbs. Though India lost in their opening game (2-3) of London Olympics to world number 3 side Netherlands, but signs of progress in Indian Hockey are quite visible.
India came back strongly in second half to level the scores to 2-2 after trailing 0-2 at half time. But it was Netherlands who scored one after that to collect full three points from the campaign opening game at Riverbank Arena.
Van der HORST Robert (20″-FG), WEUSTHOF Roderick (29″-PC) and WEUSTHOF Roderick (51″-PC) scored for the Dutch team, while Dharamvir SINGH (45″-FG) and Shivendra SINGH (48″-FG) scored for India. Indian side missed plenty of chances upfront including miss-fired shot after direct flick from Raghunath was brought down by the Dutch rusher in the initial minutes of the game. Most of the time India found themselves out-numbered by the Orange defenders in the Dutch Semi-Circle.
India’s defending was better than in recent past and showed a lot of composure in their danger zone. India closely followed the Dutch team, but the difference was the penalty corner conversion, Netherlands converted both of their PCs while India could not convert any of the 2 they earned.
For more information on NED vs IND, click here (FIH Website).
Korea vs New Zealand 2-0 (2-0 half-time)
The opening match of London 2012 Olympic Men’s Hockey Competition was a close contest as expected. 6th in World Ranking Korea and 7th Placed New Zealand (Black Sticks) played in the opening game and the former won it 2-0, of which both the goals were scored by YOU Hyo Sik in first half of the game, while any of the team could not score in 2nd half. YOU Hyo Sik scored both the goals through deflections on a quick free hit from KANG Moon Kyu in the 19th minute and guided a hard cross to home in 34th minutes when he was left unmarked on far post.
With the two goals cushion Korean were superior in second but Black Sticks Goalie did a good job under the bars not to concede any more goals. Though New Zealanders raided Korean semi-circle towards the end but LEE Myung Ho denied them, then deflected away a penalty-corner shot by McALEESE Shea to safe guard the Korean Goal. And finally, Korea ended up with the win to earn crucial 3 points with a impressive performance.
For more information on KOR vs NZL, click here (FIH Website).
Australia vs South Africa: 6-0 (half-time: 2-0)
FIVE-TIME World Player of the Year Jamie DWYER scored a hat trick and assisted in one as he set up a 6-0 victory for Kookaburras over South Africa, who are 12th in FIH World Rankin and are lowest ranked side in 2012 Olympic Men’s Hockey Competition, in first match of Pool A. With the Hat-trick Jamie DWYER has now equalled Australia’s goal scoring record held by Mark Hager, the current of Coach Black Sticks Women.
The South Africans lead by Austin Smith survived Australian raids on their D for some time and matched with World #1 side. Deadlock was broken in 16th Minutes, when Aussies got a penalty stroke and Jamie Dwyer did not commit any mistake. After a few near misses, Jamie DWYER continued to attack and offered a pass to Mathew BUTTURINI , who tapped it in to double the lead. And Kookaburras went into lemon break with 2-0 lead.
South Africa started well in second but two quick penalty corner conversions by Christopher CIRIELLO (46″) and Jamie DWYER (48″) for Australia left South Africa with a cliff to climb. Jamie DWYER converted another Penalty Stroke to complete his hat-trick in 58th Minute and Glenn TURNER added 6th goal to Kookaburras tally in 62nd minute to earn 3 easy points. (detailed report: Dwyer Hat-Trick Leads Australia to Victory)
For more information on AUS v RSA, click here (FIH Website).
Spain vs. Pakistan: 1-1 (half-time: 0-0)
5th and 8th Ranked teams in FIH World Ranking Spain and Pakistan played the first drawn game of London Olympics at Riverbank Area. Spain the Silver Medalists of Beijing Olympics opened their campaign against 4 times World Champions Pakistan, who are struggling to regain their lost form. But both the team matched each other and had contain with 1 points each.
The two goals of the game came around the mid of second in less than a minutes time. First Pakistan former Captain Rahan BUTT scored on a quick counter attack in 46th Minute, then within a minute Spain came with the reply through QUEMADA Pau who found the target with the reverse hit on a long pass from midfield. Then both the teams could not find that elusive touch which could win the match from there and it end up in draw, a good result for Pakistan but might hurt Spain down the lane.
Bad news for Spain is the injury of their Captain Santiago FREIXA, who broke his arm during the match against Pakistan and is ruled out of London 2012 Olympics. FREIXA will be replaced by defenseman Andres MIR BEL.
For more information on ESP v PAK, click here (FIH Website).
Germany vs. Belgium: 2-1 (half-time: 1-1)
It may not be the dream start for their quest of defending the Olympics Gold Medal, the German side would be happy after earning 3 points in their campaign opening game of London 2012.
It was Belgium (11th in FIH World Ranking) who drew first blood in the 4th minute of the game, Jerome DEKEYSER’s ground drag flick whipped past the goal line on their first of two penalty corner of the match. FUCHS Florian scored the equalizer for Germany, while 10 Minutes into 2nd Half ZELLER Christopher’s feather touch on the long hard pass was enough for Germany to garner 3 points from the game. Initially, Zeller’s touch was missed by the umpire but referral helped in correcting the decision.
Germany would be unhappy with their performance in the Penalty Corner department, where they could not convert even once from the six chances.
For more information on GER v BEL, click here (FIH Website).