Sunday, May 19, 2024

Great Britain fire up on day two on the Olympic Smurfturf

[img_assist|nid=3629|title=0013 Licence to Thrill|desc=Rocket Rob Moore does his stuff|link=url|url=|align=right|width=180|height=127]Great Britain 4
Rob Moore (FG, 4)
Simon Mantell (FG, 11)
Ashley Jackson (FG, 24)
Ashley Jackson (FG, 26)
India 2
VR Raghunath (16, PC)
Sandeep Singh (47, PC) 

A Rob Moore special in the fourth minute set the tone for a helter-skelter GB first half, and India were all but blown away by half time (4-1). 

GB’s first win of the tournament keeps their final hopes alive. They play Australia on Saturday and will need to win to play in Sunday’s decider. Saturday’s game unfortunately clashes with the FA Cup final with a 5pm start. Before that Germany, with their final place already assured, play point-less India.Moore’s goal was a thunderous reverse strike from the top of the D. Simon Mantell followed that up when his cross was turned into the net by an Indian foot. “We had two goals and one goal attempt,” said GB coach Jason Lee. “Explain that one to the children at home.”

GB’s third was also a litle comic as Ashley Jackson mis-trapped a bouncing circle injection from Ben Hawes and slipped the ball right past keeper Sreejesh and inside the post. The home side’s fourth was, however, a quality goal with a sweeping move from defence finishing with Jonty Clarke driblling along the left baseline before finding Jackson at the near post for a exquisite lifted finish.

India were already on the scoresheet by then – demonstrating the golden rule of ‘do not give them corners’ with their number two flicker Raghunath whistling one past James Fair.

After half time the game degenerated somewhat. “I thought India came back in the second half,” said GB skipper Glenn Kirkham. “They committed more to the game and put us under pressure. They came at us and we panicked a bit at times.”

India coach Michael Nobbs emphasised this tournament was a learning experience for his side. “We are here to learn against the best teams in the world and we are learning fast,” he said. “Before we came here we hadn’t played on a blue turf, so it is an important learning experience for us.”

Germany 3
Moritz Fuerste, FG,19)
Florian Fuchs (FG, 30)
Christopher Zeller (PC, 69)
Australia 2
Russell Ford (FG,10)
Eddie Ockenden (FG, 70) 

[img_assist|nid=3669|title=Like this|desc=Moritz Furste shows his team mates how he scored – Andy Smith|link=url|url=|align=right|width=180|height=127]The wolrd’s two best teams produced the best game of the tournament so far. Germany led 2-1 from the 30th minute when Florian Fuchs scored. After that he game ebbed and flowed as Australia tried all they could to equalise. The last throw of the dice came with three minutes to go when Luke Doerner was thrown on as ‘kicking back’ (player with goalkeeping privileges in FIH speak).

That gamble didn’t work too well as Australia conceded a penalty corner which was duly buried with a knee-trimming flick from Christoper Zeller. With the tension broken, an awful defensive give-away from Germany allowed Eddie Ockenden to finish. But that was practically the last play of the game.

Great Britain 3
Crista Cullen (PC, PC, 6mins, 70mins)
Susie Gilbert (FG, 68mins)
China 0

[img_assist|nid=3661|title=Goal|desc=Susie Gilbert’s neat finish – Andy Smith|link=url|url=|align=left|width=180|height=109]Great Britain have booked a final place ahead of their last pool game clash with world champions Argentina on Saturday.

Today, GB failed to turn any number of clear chances into a decent lead in the game after Crista Cullen put away an early corner.

China had their moments and could easily have equalised in the second half. But Susie Gilbert tidied up in the dirty zone in front of the goalie to make it 2-0. Cullen then made it three when she picked up the rebound from her own hit corner and put it high in the net.

GB skipper Kate Walsh said:”It was important to start really positively as a team and we dominated large portions of the game. Were much more confident than the day before and more assured on the ball. There was more space which meant there was more expansive play and some good finishes.”

Coach Danny Kerry shared the crowd’s frustration with GB not putting the game away ” We got on the front foot and got on with it and were dominat. My frustration as a coach is having all those chances and only being one-nil up – I would like to go to the Olympics.”


Argentina 0
Korea 0

[img_assist|nid=3646|title=|desc=Picture – Andy Smith|link=url|url=|align=right|width=180|height=255]A game at the good end of the spectrum of 0-0 draws this one. Carla Rebecchi shot wide in the death from a good surging run. Silvina D’Elia also had a stroke well saved in the second half and Delfina Marino hit the pads from in close 1vs 1.

But Korea also had their moments with Laura Del Colle saving well form a second-half corner and at other times in the game.

Total Hockey


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