On fourth day at Hockey World Cup in the Netherlands, tournament favorites Germany suffered an unexpected defeat in men’s pool B, when underdogs Argentina beat them 1-0. In an earlier match, New-Zealand men decimated South Africans 5-0. In the last men’s game on Wednesday, hosts Netherlands secured the top berth in pool B, winning a closely fought match against Korea. In women’s pool B matches, Germany defeated South Africa 3-1; China scored a 3-0 upset victory over England and USA and Argentina were locked in a 2-2 draw.
In the first pool B match, New Zealand men’s team outplayed South Africa with a huge margin of 5-0. Of all the men’s teams in this year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup, the Black Sticks have looked a far better team than most. On Wednesday, they took just 4 minutes from the start to take a 1-0 lead. Phil Burrows saw Simon Child in a good position near the edge of the circle and sent an accurate scoop. Child collected the pass and calmly drove home without giving any chance to South African goalkeeper. Egged by an early deficit, South Africans charged at New Zealand goal and extracted a penalty corner in 6th minute. However, Justin Reid-Ross’s forceful shot missed the target. Continued aggression from the Black Sticks yielded them another goal in the 15th minute with the mercurial Andy Hayward scoring his first goal from penalty corner. In 17th minute, New Zealand earned another penalty corner and Hayward repeated the act to make it two for himself and 3-0 for the Black sticks. The doughty South Africans didn’t leave hope despite conceding 3 goals so early in the first half. They continued mounting attacks on the German goal but brilliant work by New Zealand goalkeeper Manchester thwarted all such attempts. New Zealand went to halftime with a 3-0 lead and scored two more goals after the interval. The first came from Shea McAleese, who was playing his 200th game and the last from Hayward, his third in the match. New-Zealand finished with a 5-0 victory.
In the men’s second match on Wednesday, world no.11, Argentina played superbly to beat Olympic Champions Germany 1-0. As usual, Germany began with long accurate passes to their frontline forwards, who darted down the Argentinian territory. But most such were countered the solid Argentinian defense. On their part, Argentina also attacked the German goal and in the 31st minute Agustin Mazzili was able to send a fine pass to his team-mate Manuel Brunet, who made no errors in slotting through the open legs of the German goalkeeper. With a goal against them, Germany retaliated by mounting fresh strikes on Argentina. The solid defense, however, did not allow Germany much leeway. In the second half, the pace of the game changed as tempers rose and frustration began creeping in the German ranks with players committing needless errors. Benedikt Furk was shown a yellow card. Germany’s best chance was to come in the 40th minute but Benjamin Wess’s shot was cleared by Vivaldi.
In the last men’s pool B game on Wednesday, hosts Netherlands needed to fight hard before coming through 2-1 winners against Korea, who were the first to move up in the lead, when Hyunwoo Nam converted a penalty corner in the 5th minute to stun 15000 people present in the stadium. The Dutchmen mounted pressure and raided the Korean goal several times. The equalizer came from a penalty stroke in the 21st minute from Jeroen Hertzberger. The half time score was 1-1 but when the teams came back, Korea continued attacking the Dutch goal. A penalty corner earned by Korea was wasted. The hosts raised their game and although Robbert Kemperman had been shown yellow card for shirt pulling, he won the game for his team by a 69th minute field goal. The victory put Netherlands.to the second spot in pool B just below New Zealand.
In a women’s pool B match, China shocked England by scoring a 3-0 upset victory. After the teams were level 0-0 at halftime, China’s Peng Yang scored by a powerful hit from the top of the circle in the 42nd minute. In the 55th minute, China enhanced their lead further, when Liang Meiyu scored another brilliant field goal. Four minutes from the final hooter, China earned a penalty corner and Peng was on the dot to take the match 3-0 for China, while adding another goal against her name. In an earlier pool B match for women, Germany defeated South Africa 3-1. For Germany Marie Mavers opened the scoring with a 19th minute field goal. After the halftime, Kristina Hillmann’s 50th minute goal took Germany ahead 2-0. South Africa’s Shelly Russell reduced the margin to 2-1 with a 64th minute goal but Mavers scored again a minute later to finish the match 3-1. In the last women’s game USA and Argentinian women drew their match 2-2.
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