Men Pool B
Germany v South Africa 4-0
The Netherlands v Argentina 3-1
New Zealand v Korea 2-1
Women Pool B
England v USA 1-2
Germany v China 1-1
Argentina v South Africa 4-1
Headline: Netherlands men in Oranje heaven on day two of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup
The German team began their Rabobank Hockey World Cup campaign with a 4-0 win over South Africa. The match against 12th-ranked South Africa saw the reigning Olympic champions and second-ranked team score twice either side of half-time, although the outstanding performance of the match came from the South African ‘keeper Erasmus Pieterse. After the game, Pieterse said: “I knew I had to bring my best game today. It is not every day that you face the Olympic champions so I knew I would be busy. Our focus today was on keeping the score down, it was more about the performance than the result.”
The Kyocera Stadium turned orange for the second pool B match as 15,000 people turned up to cheer the home team in their opening match against Argentina. And the Oranje did not disappoint as they played hockey that was both spectacular and stylish to win their opener 3-1. And Argentina added their own substantial skill and flair to the occasion, making it a great hockey spectacle.
The final men’s game of the day was a close encounter between the sixth and seventh seeds respectively. New Zealand took an early lead through Steve Edwards (1’), but the closely-fought contest was not decided until the final minute of the game, when one of the Black Sticks most experienced players, Phil Burrows, took his chance in front of goal to make the game 2-1 in New Zealand’s favour.
Paige Selenski celebrated her 100th cap in the best way possible, scoring the USA’s first goal within three minutes of the start and helping to secure a 2-1 victory in their opening pool B match of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup against the third-ranked team, England.
The match was most notable for the high percentage of turnovers, with England in particular failing to keep possession of the ball or mount any sustained pressure on the USA goal. For their part, the USA worked hard and made the most of their chances, maintaining their recent impressive string of victories. Talking after the game, England skipper Kate Richardson-Walsh spoke of her team’s nervousness at the start of the game. “I am angry with our opening few minutes. A couple of passes went astray and that tentativeness was infectious throughout the team. You can’t come to a World Cup and start like that.”
A 61st minute strike from Peng Yang gave China a deserved draw against opponents Germany in the second Pool B match of the day. The goal denied the European Champions a victory as star defender Tina Bachmann celebrated her 250th international match for Die Danas. Peng’s equaliser arrived just a minute after Hannah Krueger had opened the scoring, earning a point for the 2008 Olympic Silver medallists.
The third women’s game of day two saw the much anticipated return to World Cup action of eight times Player of the Year Luciana Aymar and the talented Las Leonas as they took on 12th-ranked South Africa. The game went according to the form books with the World Cup holders winning 4-1, but a spirited South African defence put up a strong resistance in the early stages of the game and also scored a consolation goal against the run of play. The match finished 4-1 and was a performance that indicated that Argentina have not come out of the starting block firing on all cylinders.
Source: FIH Media Release
Photograph: Valentin Verga scores 1-0. (FIH/Frank Uijlenbroek (c))