In the first game of the day a second half hat trick from Gonzalo Peillat gave Argentina a 3-1 victory over New Zealand in a game that was notable for the high standard of defence and possessive play. The result leaves Argentina joint top of the pool with the Netherlands, and Peillat as joint top scorer with Belgium’s Tom Boon.

The game came alight in the second half as both teams began to work out each other’s defensive structure. The first to break through were the Argentinians, as Gonzalo Peillat (44′ and 51′) scored twice from drag-flick penalty corners. His goals sandwiched a Stephen Jenness goal (49′) which was scored after some great work around the circle from Shea McAleese. The game was put beyond any doubt when Peillat (63′) scored his third goal. Again a spectacular drag flick left the Black Sticks defence with no chance of stopping it.

In the second match of the pool, it was a goalkeeping performance that stole the headlines. A collection of world class saves from Korea shot-stopper Lee Myungho denied 11th ranked South Africa a famous victory over world number 7 Korea, as the two pool B rivals played out a 0-0 draw. Myungho made a number of terrific blocks in the second half to spare the blushes of the Asian Champions, who were second best to the Champions of Africa for much of the second half. The result gave both teams their first point of the tournament, although served to dramatically reduce the chances of either side reaching the semi-final stages.

It was always going to be a cracker of a game when the two giant of European hockey met in the final men’s pool B game of the day at the Kyocera Stadium. Germany versus the Netherlands had the prospect of a fiercely contested and high quality match written all over it and it didn’t disappoint. The fact that a first half goal, scored by Jeroen Hertzberger (19′), was the only time the ball found the back of the net did nothing to diminish the entertainment value of this match.
It was a game that Germany needed to win to keep their hopes of making it to the semi-final alive, and it was a game that the Netherlands wanted to win to maintain their 100 per cent winning run in this World Cup. Add the fact that 15,000 people were cheering the teams on and the setting was perfect for a humdinger of a contest.

A hat-trick for Katie O’Donnell and an overall strong team performance left the USA sitting at the top of the table after their third pool B match. China,who had looked so composed in their earlier two matches were unable to deal with the ferocity or versatility of the USA attack and, on her 100th cap, Jackie Kintzer in the USA goal was a spectator for most of the game. Further goals for Team USA were added by Michelle Vitesse and Kelsey Kolojechick. The result puts USA joint top of the pool B with three matches played. China are in fourth place.

Carlos Retegui’s day just got better as his women’s team joined the USA at the top of the women’s pool B. Las Leonas still give the impression of a team that hasn’t yet hit top gear, as they put in a workmanlike performance to overcome a German side that was hardworking, but lacked the flair necessary to pressure the Argentine defence. The one concern for the Argentine coach will be the early departure from the field of play by his star player Luciana Aymar, with an unspecified leg injury.

Las Leonas, wearing a bright pink second strip, opened their account through a penalty corner by Silvina D’Elia (4′), but it was nearly 30 minutes before they doubled their score through Noel Barrionuevo (32′). The drag-flcik specialist fired the ball in at low level past the outstretched foot of ‘keeper Barbara Vogel. The sucker punch came from the stick of Carla Rebecchi (45’). The midfielder had been busy all match, creating attacks from the heart of midfield, so it was fitting that she was able to seal the performance with a turn and strike that flew past Vogel into the goal.

In the third pool B match, Sulette Damons marked her 150th international match with a brilliant back-hand strike as South Africa ended England’s dreams of winning the Rabobank Hockey World Cup by taking a 4-1 victory in the GreenFields Stadium. Goals from Kathleen Taylor, Damons, Shelley Russell and Dirkie Chamberlain gave the world number 11 ranked team a stunning 4-1 over a side that sits eight places above them in the FIH World Rankings, with England’s solitary goal coming from the stick of Nicola White 15 minutes from time. The result leaves England rooted to the bottom of Pool B, while South Africa claimed their first points of the tournament.

Source: FIH Media Release
Photograph: FIH/Stanislas Boucher (c)