Netherlands 7 India 1
Germany 2 New Zealand 0
Australia – Japan
With all twelve teams now having shown their wares, the Netherlands and day-one star turns Argentina look the most likely finalists at the end of day two of the women’s hockey world cup.
It was the Dutch who shone brightest on a grey and cold day in Rosario. The women in orange showed the rest of the world how to run a penalty corner routine. Maartje Pauman produced superb drag-flick ball speed, and the whole routine was immaculate – injection, stop and flick – the complete package. Pauman completed a hat-trick (two PCs, one stroke). Kim Lammers scored twice while Ellen Hoog and Marilyn Agliotti scored singles.
India did cause a few problems with goalscorer Rani Rampal the pick of a skilful bunch who however struggled to match the conditioning of the Dutch.
The other two lower ranked teams in the group – New Zealand and Japan – both caused problems for their supposed betters. Anything like decent finishing would have seen New Zealand shock the Germans. The Kiwis created a hatfull of chances with Stacy Mitchelsen and Gemma Flynn taking the lead in producing some of the best attacking moves seen in the tournament so far. Unfortunately Flynn (pictured) was also one of the prime goal evaders of the night. A very angry New Zealand coach Mark Hager put it succinctly: “You’ve got to put the ball in the back of the net. Germany made the most of their chances and we didn’t and that is why we couldn’t win.
“I’m pretty gutted. It’s disappointing to create so many chances and not put them away. Yes their keeper played well but also if you keep hitting her she is going to have a good game,” he said.
But even so, this Kiwi team will produce a shock either here or at the upcoming Commonwealth Games – they are seriously good. Germany’s goals both came in the first half – from a Celine Wilde field goal and a Tina Bachmann PC. Germany had seven corners in all.
The best goal of the day came from Japan’s Kaori Chiba with a classic sliding reverse-stick deflection of a cross from the right. Her strike brought the Japanese within one goal of the Hockeyroos and they could have produced a surprise draw but shot wide from a clear chance late in the game. For the Aussies Kobie Turk scored a scrappy first-half PC and hard-working skipper Madonna Blythe a second-half field goal, but on the whole it was an untidy and mistake riddled performance from the Aussies.The Japanese’s excellent basics and neat attacking play impressed at times and the other teams in this group will have to take them seriously.
Tagged Mark Hager