Day four at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup has got underway with Die Danas claiming the first victory after a 3-1 win over South Africa. China bounced out England 3-0, while USA and Argentina entertained a packed crowd to a 2-2 tie.
WOMEN Pool B South Africa v Germany 1-3 (0-1)
Germany called on all their big stage international experience to hold off a spirited South Africa attack and, while not producing an altogether convincing performance, the world number five team did enough to secure all three points with a 3-1 win in the opening pool B match of day four at the Kyocera Stadium.The difference between the two teams was their finishing, with Germany scoring two goals from scrambled situations and a third beautifully taken shot, while the African champions squandered shooting opportunity after shooting opportunity. Speaking after the game, Shelley Russell said that her team were “truly gutted, very disappointed, after failing to score from numerous opportunities.”
WOMEN Pool B England v China 0-3 (0-1)
A moment of individual brilliance by Peng Yang and a precisely-struck penalty corner took all three points as number seven seeds China beat third-ranked England in their second Pool B match at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague. The result leaves England standing on ‘the edge of a precipice’ said coach Jason Lee after the game, with the world number 3 team on zero points. On a day that Alex Danson had hoped to celebrate her 150th international cap with a goal and three points, it was actually a lack of fire-power in front of goal that let the England team down. China soaked up the pressure for vast swathes of the first half as England peppered the goal. Li Dongxiao was outstanding as she stopped ball after ball and the statistics of efficiency in front of goal will make depressing reading for coach Jason Lee and his coaching staff. With Maddie Hinch in the England goal not touching the ball for the first 15 minutes of the game, this is a result that China will be delighted with.
WOMEN Pool B Argentina v United States 2-2 (1-1)
A 64th minute strike from Kelsey Kolojejchick earned 10th-ranked USA a point against reigning World Champions Argentina in an entertaining but rainy contest at the GreenFields Stadium. Kolojejchick’s close range finish proved to be enough to seal a 2-2 result against Las Leonas, cancelling out a stunning second half strike from eight times World Player of the Year Luciana Aymar. The result moved both teams onto four points in Pool B, drawing them level with Germany and China whilst moving even further ahead of the currently pointless England and South Africa.
It is day four in the men’s competition also in The Hague and New Zealand bagged their second win of the tournament thanks to an Andy Hayward hat trick. Argentina turned the world rankings upsetting Germany 1-0. Also to play today in Pool B is Netherland and Korea.
MEN POOL B: South Africa v New Zealand 0-5 (0-3)
New Zealand’s Black Sticks maintained their perfect start to the Rabobank Hockey World Cup by surging to a convincing 5-0 Pool B win over South Africa in the GreenFields Stadium. Drag-flicking defender Andy Hayward netted a hat-trick of penalty corners as the world number 6 and Hockey World League Silver medallists claimed a second successive victory. The result puts New Zealand onto six points and the quality of their performance will fill them with great confidence for the rest of the tournament.
MEN POOL B: Germany v Argentina 0-1 (0-1)
Argentina rewrote the form books with a closely-fought and scintillating encounter with the team ranked number two in the world. Manuel Brunet (31′) was the hero of the match as he scored from the tightest of angles to give Argentina the lead over Germany in a match that was not only a classic confrontation between two teams playing two very different styles of hockey, but also one that, despite the sole goal, was packed with incident and drama.
MEN Pool B: Netherlands v Korea 2-1 (1-1)
Korea came desperately close to ripping up the form book when they held the Netherlands to a draw until the last minute of a pulsating game at the Kyocera Stadium. Korean players slumped in exhaustion to the ground after playing a magnificent part in this hockey spectacle, with just a 69th minute Robbert Kempermann goal separating the teams.
Tomorrow all teams will take a rest day and men’s action will continue on 5 June with Pool A action. Malaysia and England will open up the day (13:00 CET), followed by Belgium and Australia (16:00 CET) and India and Spain (17:30 CET). For more information visit rabobankhockeyworldcup2014.com
Photograph: Marie Mavers scores for Germany (FIH/Frank Uijlenbroek (c))