[img_assist|nid=4438|title=Winning start|desc=China fans fly the flag – hockeyimages.co.uk|link=node|align=right|width=220|height=146]LONDON, 29 July – China got their London 2012 Olympic campaign off to a winning start with a 4-0 victory over Asian rivals Korea in women’s hockey at the Riverbank Arena on Sunday.
It was Beijing 2008 runners-up China who made the breakthrough nine minutes before half-time, Ma Yibo (CHN) scoring with a drag flick into the top right corner.
Minutes later Korea created their best opportunity of the first half from a fast breakaway down the left. Kim Darae’s reverse stick shot forced a save from goalkeeper Zhang Yimeng (CHN).But China still looked likelier to score. Fu Baorong (CHN) showed some neat stick skills along the backline but her effort was kept out by Korea goalkeeper Moon Young Hui.
The second half began along similar lines to the first and China made their second breakthrough 16 minutes after the interval. Zhao Yudiao combined with MA Wei and Fu Baorong before slotting the ball home from close range.
China began to dominate the match and added a decisive third goal three minutes later after Korea captain LEE Seonok was judged to have fouled in front of goal. The resulting penalty stroke was scored by LI Hongxia (CHN).
China’s pressure continued to pay off and they were rewarded with a string of penalty corners. They referred one to the video umpire, believing it to be a penalty stroke but it was refused.
Meanwhile, things were made even tougher for Korea when Lee Seonok was shown a yellow card for a foul.
With three minutes remaining, China sealed victory when Ma Yibo added her second of the match with a cleanly-struck penalty corner.