It will be world number 3 vs 4 and number 1 vs 2 in the semi-finals of Men’s Hockey Competition at London 2012 as Netherlands and Defending Champions Germany qualified for Semi Final from Pool B, while current World Champions Australia and hosts Great Britain from Pool A.
Pool B toppers, only team with 5 of 5 wins in Pool matches, Netherlands will challenge the hosts Great Britain while world number number Kookaburras will take on world number two Germany in semi-finals. This is Great Britain’s first Semi Final appearance since their famous Olympics Gold Medal in 1988 Seoul and 7th in a row for the Dutch.
Hosts Great Britain became the fourth Men’s semi-finalist team, when their match against Silver Medalists of Beijing Olympics, Spain, was drwan (1-1). Spain finished 3rd in Pool A, after Australia and Great Britain at 1st and 2nd place respectively, and will play for the 5th position against 3rd placed team in Pool B i.e Belgium. Ashley JACKSON scored for Great Britain in 32nd minute on Penalty Corner, while Spain’sPau QUEMADA equalized in similar fashion in 55th minute.
Earlier in the day, World Champions Australia overwhelmed (7-0) Pakistan to confirm their 11th Olympics semi-final appearance. Australia started raiding the Pakistan Semi-circle from the word go of Pool A game and scored goals on 3 Penalty Corners, 3 field efforts and one Penalty Stroke with 6 of their players registered their name on score-sheet. Liam de YOUNG (5”-PC), Mark KNOWLES (6”-PS), Chris CIRIELLO (29”-PC/34”-FG), Russell FORD (42”-FG), Jamie DWYER (48”-PC) and Glenn TURNER (70”-FG) scored for the Kookaburras. Australia have missed only 1972 semi-finals since 1964, while did not participate in 1980 and they have never finished below 6th in Olympics since their first appearance in 1956.
Korea needed to win against Netherlands to keep their chances alive for semi final depending upon New Zealand Vs Germany match, which eventually ended in 5-5 draw, but the Dutch handed over 4-2 defeat to the Korean side, which was the 5th win for the Dutch side from as many outings in Pool B. With this result Germany also qualified for the semi-finals. van der WEERDEN Mink, Valentin VERGA, Roderick WEUSTHOF, Billy BAKKER scored for Netherlands in 17” (PC), 21” (FG), 47” (PS) and 64” (FG) respectively, while NAM Hyun Woo and LEE Nam Yong pulled 2 back for Korea through Penalty Corners 53rd and 62nd minutes respectively to come closer (2-3 at that time), but two minutes later BAKKER increased the margin (4-2) for Netherlands and made sure to continue their winning streak.
In the last match of the day, New Zealand needed to win the game against Germany to finish 4th in their pool, so that they could take a shot on finishing 7th equal to their current FIH world ranking. But the thrilling goal fest ended in 5-5 draw, hence New Zealand finished 5th in Pool B and will take on Argentina from Pool A for 9th position.
In the mid-day, Argentina defeated (6-3) South Africa in a thrilling goal fest to finish 5th with 4 points in Pool A above South Africa, who has only 1 points from its draw against the hosts Great Britain of 5 pool matches they played. In the second match of mid-day session, Belgium defeated (3-0) India to keep their chances alive for 3rd spot in the pool.
Points Tables after the completion of Pool Matches of MEN’s Hockey Competition at London 2012:
|2 Great Britain||9||5||2||3||0||14||8||6|
|6 South Africa||1||5||0||1||4||11||22||-11|
|5 New Zealand||5||5||1||2||2||10||14||-4|