After the completion of WOMEN’s Hockey Competition Day 3 at Riverbank Arena, 4 Pool B teams (Argentina, New Zealand, Australia and Germany) are having 6 points from three matches with two wins and one loss each. Only two teams from Pool A, i.e. the Dutch(#1 in FIH World Ranking) and Hosts Great Britain, remained unbeaten of the 12 participating in the competition. However Japan and South Africa are yet to earn a point.
On the low scoring day, a total of 11 goals only, in 6 matches (half of total goals scored on 2nd day i.e. 22, while a total of 23 goals were scored on the opening day of competition), there were 5 clean sheet wins. The 4 out of 6 matches were a close fight with just one goal’s margin, out of which, three of the winning teams had clean sheets.
The day started with Korea and Japan stepping on the Blue Surface in search of their first victory or points. The Korean CHEON Seul Ki converted a PC in 42nd minute, which turned out to be winning goal for world #8 side over Japan, who are just one place below Korea in FIH World Rankings.
The hosts Great Britain registered the biggest victory of the day to make it 3 wins out 3 matches, by defeating (3-0) Belgium, the lowest ranked team in the competition. Ashleigh BALL (33″-FG), Laura BARTLETT (40″-FG), Crista CULLEN (69″-PC) scored for the hosts in the match graced by the presence of Prince Edward and his wife Sophie of Wessex.
In second match of the day, Hockeyroos Anna FLANAGAN found the target in her third attempt of the day just 2 minutes before the half time hooter to bring her team back into Medal contention. Earlier, Hockeyroos’ goal keeper Toni CRONK saved a penalty stroke by Lauren CRANDALL, a frequent striker of USA. “We are very disappointed with the outcome. This match was one we targeted as getting three points in and today we came up empty. We had chances, but unfortunately did not capitalize.” said Head Coach Lee BODIMAEDE, who was up against his former Kookaburras team-mate Adam COMMENS.
Third match of the day was not any different from the other two, which was played betweeb the defending champions Netherlands over silver medalists of Beijing-China. The former won the match banking on Maartje GODERIE’s early field goal in 10th minute. After that China defended well did not give any more goals, including defending 10 penalty corners successfully.
World number 3 team Germany overcame the stiff competition from South Africa, who are 9 places below Deutschland in the FIH Ranking. The hard working South Africa women could not finish the chances, though they had equal (7) number of shots on target from open game, while Germany earned 5 penalty corners in comparison to 1 for South Africa. The Germans converted one field corner and found target on one of the seven shots from field play to win 2-0. Germany’s Marie MAEVERS scored field goal in 25th minute, while their Captain Fanny RINNE found the target in 44th minute on PC.
The last match of day was played between two southern hemi-sphere teams, Las Leonas (Argentina) and Blacks Sticks (New Zealand). Argentine women did most of work and were determined to win the game after they surprised USA two days ago (repeat of Pan American Games 2011 Final). Though an early by Carla REBECCHI (3″-FG) gave Argentina some extra space to work with. Still Black Sticks had enough pressure on the Las Leonas until Carla REBECCHI positioned herself nicely to redirect a close range ball from base line through Bianca RUSSELL’s pad in 44th minute to double the lead. 2-0 lead provided enough cushion for otherwise hard working Argentine, but New Zealand pulled one back in 62nd minute through Charlotte HARRISON to reduce the margin and the match had an intense ending without any more goals scored.
Points Tables after 3 days of WOMEN’s Hockey Competition at London 2012:
|1 Great Britain||9||3||3||0||0||12||3||9|
|2 New Zealand||6||3||2||0||1||6||3||3|
|5 United States||3||3||1||0||2||2||3||-1|
|6 South Africa||0||3||0||0||3||2||13||-11|