Day one of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 saw New Zealand, Australia and Netherlands each earn three points in Pool A. All three games were close encounters with the exception of the Netherlands, who triumphed 6-1 over Japan to wrap up the last game of the day.

WOMEN Pool A New Zealand v Belgium 4-3 (3-0)

New Zealand women got their Rabobank Hockey World Cup campaign off to the best possible start with a 4-3 victory over their lower-ranked rivals Belgium, but it was not the straightforward victory the Black Sticks seemed to be heading for over their more inexperienced rivals. A 3-0 half-time lead was almost overturned as the Red Panthers showed their mettle and determination to fight back.

Krystal Forgesson (20′) put her team ahead with a deflected goal following a drag flick from Anita Punt and it was Forgesson again just six minutes later scoring her second in almost identical fashion. Punt, who worked tirelessly throughout the first half, drag-flicked her shot and Forgesson swooped on the dipping ball to slam it past Aisling D’Hooghe in the Red Panther’s goal.

WOMEN Pool A  Australia v Korea 3-2 (1-1)

A closely-fought and thrilling encounter between the fourth-ranked team and the eighth-ranked team resulted in a 3-2 win for the Hockeyroos over a Korea side who will be disappointed not to have at least shared the points. Anna Flanagan tallied two goals for Australia, both on set pieces, while Emily Hurtz deflected in the Hockeyroos’ first goal. For Korea, Eunbi Cheon had the game’s first goal, while a late add from Seul Ki Cheon was too little, too late.

WOMEN Pool A Netherlands v Japan 6-1 (3-0)

A capacity crowd were treated to a sumptuous example of flowing, attacking play and the first hat-trick of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup when reigning Olympic champions the Netherlands took to the field for the final game on day one of the tournament. The hat-trick hero was Kelly Jonkers as the Netherlands romped home to an emphatic 6-1 victory over the 9th-ranked team Japan in their opening match. Captain Maartje Paumen converted twice, first on a penalty corner and then again on a penalty stroke. The lone goal scorer for Japan was Akane Shibata in the 65th minute.

Pool B for the women start on, 1 June, beginning with England and USA (13:00 CET) and ending with Germany and China (14:30 CET) and Argentina and South Africa (19:45 CET). For full match summaries and schedule, visit www.rabobankhockeyworldcup2014.com

In the Men’s event only two teams picked up wins on the opening day of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup for the men’s Pool A. Australia and Belgium each earned three points, while England and Spain both failed to capitalise and drew 1-1. The Kookaburras cruised over Malaysia 4-0, while India pushed Belgium to the final whistle to trail 3-2 at the final horn.

MEN Pool A Australia v Malaysia 4-0 (1-0)

Glenn Turner was the first name on the Rabobank Hockey World Cup score sheet as the number one ranked team, Australia, opened their account with a emphatic 4-0 victory over 13th-ranked Malaysia. The result was especially sweet for Rob Hammond, as he received his 250th cap. Jamie Dwyer and Eddie Ockenden each got on the board, while Turner capped it off with a second-half goal to lead the Kookaburras.

MEN POOL A Belgium v India 3-2 (1-0)

John-John Dohmen was the toast of Belgium as the Red Dragons overcame stern resistance from India to take a 3-2 victory over their illustrious Asian opponents. Dohmen’s late goal arrived with just 17 seconds on the clock, meaning that India didn’t even have to time restart the game let alone go in search of a leveller. It was a fittingly dramatic end to a pulsating game in which both teams made massive contributions.

MEN POOL A England v Spain 1-1 (1-0)

England and Spain played out a 1-1 draw in the final men’s game on day one of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup and both teams will be disappointed not to have capitalised on chances created during the game. Alastair Brogdon opened the scoring in the 6th minute after blasting home a shot for England without being challenged. Spain’s Eduard Tubau was credited the second-half equaliser thanks to a video referral.

Men’s action continues on 1 June with Pool B match ups between Germany and South Africa (10:30 CET), Netherlands and Argentina (16:00 CET) and New Zealand and Korea (17:30 CET). For full match schedules and live streaming visit www.rabobankhockeyworldcup2014.com

Source: FIH.CH

Photograph: FIH/Frank Uijlenbroek (c)