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Australia look to maintain a record streak as London 2012 men’s Olympic Games hockey starts

[img_assist|nid=3671|title=Call of History|desc=Germany (Christopher Zeller pictured left) start their Olympic title defence today while Australia (Fergus Kavanagh pictured right) look to add to their medal streak with a second Olympic Gold – picture Andy Smith |link=node|align=right|width=220|height=155]LONDON, 29 July – Australia look to continue the longest-running medal-winning streak in Olympic men’s hockey competition when they open their London 2012 campaign against South Africa on the second day of competition at the Riverbank Arena on Monday. Here’s a quick look at today’s games:

Korea v New Zealand 8.30am

  • The teams also played in their opening pool match at Beijing 2008, with New Zealand recovering from a 1-0 half-time deficit to win 3-1.
  • Korea qualified for London 2012 as winners of the second Olympic qualification tournament, beating Ireland 3-2 in Dublin, Ireland, in March 2012. They needed a Lee Nam Yong goal, awarded on video referral after initially being ruled out, in the last seconds of the final against hosts Ireland for victory.
  • Korea have never beaten New Zealand at the Olympic Games, losing both matches between them.
  • Korea’s other Olympic defeat came at Athens 2004, when a final-minute goal gave New Zealand a 4-3 win in a 5-8 classification match.
  • Eight players from that match at Athens 2004 are at London 2012: KOR – Yeo Woon Kon, You Hyosik, Jang Jong Hyun, Seo Jongho; NZL – Blair Hopping, Dean Couzins, Kyle Pontifex, Phillip Burrows. Yeo scored one of Korea’s goals while Burrows claimed a hat-trick for New Zealand.
  • Jang Jong Hyun scored the only goal as Korea beat New Zealand 1-0 in the pool stage at the 2012 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in June. Despite the defeat, New Zealand claimed the trophy with a 1-0 win against Argentina.
  • New Zealand beat Korea 2-1 in the pool stage of the 2010 world cup in New Delhi, India, and 6-1 in the pool stage of the 2011 Champions Trophy.
  • Korea have the men’s tournament’s oldest squad with an average age of 29 years 107 days, and oldest player: Yeo Woon Kon (37 years 330 days).

Australia v South Africa  10.45am

  • Australia have won hockey medals in the previous five Olympic Games, the longest-running streak in the competition.
  • Australia have lost just two matches at major tournaments in the last three years.
  • They won only one of four matches (3-0 v India) during the four-team test event at the Riverbank Arena in May 2012.
  • Australia have scored 10 goals against South Africa twice in the last four years.
  • They won 12-0 in the pool stage at the 2010 world cup in New Delhi, India, and 10-0 in their second pool match at Beijing 2008.
  • Captain Jamie Dwyer (AUS) scored nearly a quarter of those goals: a hat-trick in the 12-0 win and two goals in the 10-0 win.
  • Their two Olympic matches before Beijing 2008 were much closer: Australia won 3-2 at Athens 2004, with a 1-1 draw at Atlanta 1996.
  • Coach Gregg Clark (RSA) was in the South Africa teams that played against Australia at Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004.
  • Despite earning their place at London 2012 as Africa Cup champions, South Africa had to contest a qualifying tournament to satisfy the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) of their worthiness.
  • They took their place at the Games for the second time, beating Japan 2-1 to win the third Olympic qualification tournament in Kakamigahara, Japan, in May 2012.
  • Thornton McDade and Lloyd Norris-Jones were South Africa’s scorers in the qualification final.
  • Andrew Cronje will reach 100 international appearances for South Africa if he plays.

Spain v Pakistan 1.45pm

  • Spain beat Pakistan 4-2 at the 2011 Champions Trophy in Auckland, New Zealand, their last meeting in major international competition.
  • After finishing sixth at the 2011 Euro Hockey Championship and missing direct qualification, Spain were invited to participate at London 2012 instead of South Africa, when SASCOC insisted its team contest a qualifying tournament instead of taking their place at the Games as Africa Cup champions.
  • Spain have won the two most recent of eight Olympic meetings between the teams: 4-0 at Athens 2004 and 3-0 at Atlanta 1996.
  • Pakistan haven’t won or scored a goal against Spain at the Olympic Games since winning 6-1 in the pool stage at Barcelona 1992.
  • Pakistan have twice denied Spain a place in the Olympic final, winning semifinals at Rome 1960 (1-0) and Tokyo 1964 (3-0).
  • Spain had the lowest conversion percentage of goals at Beijing 2008, scoring just 11% of shots attempted.
  • No other men’s team has played more times (15) at the Olympic Games without winning a gold medal than Spain.
  • Pakistan beat Spain 2-1 in the second pool match of the 2010 world cup in New Delhi, India, with two goals from Abdul Haseem Khan.
  • Pakistan finished last (7th) at the 2012 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in June.
  • Pol Amat (ESP) is competing at a record-equalling fifth Olympic Games. Amat’s father Juan Amat also played in four Olympic Games: Mexico City 1968, Munich 1972, Montreal 1976, Moscow 1980.
  • Pakistan captain Sohail Abbas was left out of the Beijing 2008 squad after being the leading scorer at Athens 2004 with 11 penalty corner goals.
  • Pakistan’s squad contains four of the five youngest players in the men’s tournament: Muhammad Tousiq (17-207), Muhammad Rizwan jr (17-248), Syed Kashif Shah (18-280), Muhammad Umar Bhutta (19-219).

Netherlands v India 4pm

  • Teams also played in their opening pool match at Athens 2004 (their last Olympic meeting) with Netherlands winning 3-1.
  • Teun de Nooijer scored Netherlands’ second goal in that match.
  • De Nooijer is competing at a record-equalling fifth Olympic Games.
  • Teams have twice played each other for gold in the Olympic final, with India winning both: 3-0 at Amsterdam 1928, 6-1 at Helsinki 1952.
  • India also claimed victory, winning 2-1, when the teams played off for bronze at Munich 1972.
  • In 10 Olympic matches between them, India have won seven, Netherlands two, with one draw, 1-1 in the pool stage at Munich 1972.
  • Netherlands waited until their eighth meeting at Montreal 1976 to get their first Olympic victory against India, 3-1 in the pool stage.
  • Netherlands qualified as the runners-up at the 2011 Euro Hockey Championship.
  • India have won eight Olympic hockey gold medals, more than any other NOC, but the last was at Moscow 1980.
  • India have not beaten Netherlands in major international competition for 26 years, since a 3-1 win at the 1986 Champions Trophy in Karachi, Pakistan.
  • India failed to qualify for Beijing 2008, the first time they had not competed in hockey at an Olympic Games since Antwerp 1920.
  • India qualified through the first Olympic qualification tournament in New Delhi, India, in February, beating France 8-1 in the final.
  • Sandeep Singh scored five of India’s eight goals in the match, part of his 17-goal total for the entire tournament.
  • India did not win any matches during the four-team test event at the Riverbank Arena in May 2012.
  • India have the men’s tournament’s youngest squad with an average age of 24 years 263 days.

Great Britain v Argentina 7pm

  • Argentina have never beaten Great Britain at the Olympic Games, losing all three matches between them.
  • Last Olympic meeting was in a 9-12 classification match at Athens 2004 when Great Britain won 4-1.
  • Seven players from that match at Athens 2004 are at London 2012: GBR – Rob Moore (who scored), Ben Hawes, Barry Middleton; ARG – Matias Damian Vila, Rodrigo Vila, Matias Enrique Paredes, Lucas Cammareri.
  • Argentina beat Great Britain 3-2 in the pool stage at the 2012 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in June.
  • Matias Enrique Paredes (2) and Lucas Cammareri scored for Argentina, and Ashley JacksonN (2) scored for Great Britain.
  • Coaches Pablo Lombi (ARG) and Jason Lee (GBR) played against each other in Argentina’s 2-1 defeat by Great Britain in the pool stage at Barcelona 1992.
  • After missing a place at Beijing 2008, Argentina qualified as 2011 Pan American Games champions, beating Canada 3-1 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
  • Argentina’s squad contains the Vilas, three brothers from Buenos Aires: youngest Lucas Martin, Rodrigo and (captain) Matias Damian.
  • Great Britain have not won an Olympic hockey medal since Seoul 1988 when they won gold with a 3-1 win against West Germany.
  • Two of the players in the London 2012 squad had not been born when that happened: Nicholas Catlin (born 1989) and Harry Martin (1992).
  • Great Britain won two matches and drew one during the four-team test event at the Riverbank Arena in May 2012.
  • At London 1948, Great Britain drew 0-0 with Switzerland in their opening pool match.
  • They went on to record heavy wins against USA (11-0) and Afghanistan (8-0) in their remaining pool matches.

Germany v Belgium 9.15pm

  • The teams also met in their opening pool match at the 2011 Euro Hockey Championship in Monchengladbach, Germany. Germany won 3-1 with goals from Thilo Stralkowski, Florian Fuchs and Jan-Marco Montag. They went on to claim the title, qualifying as European champions.
  • Jerome Dekeyser scored Belgium’s goal from a penalty corner.
  • Belgium finished fourth at the championship which, with Great Britain qualifying automatically, gave them a place at London 2012.
  • Teams also met in the second pool match at Beijing 2008 and drew 1-1, Matthias Withaus (GER) and Cedric Charlier (BEL) scoring.
  • Germany went on to claim the Olympic title at Beijing 2008.
  • There are 10 Beijing 2008 champions in Germany’s 16-man squad.
  • The teams’ first Olympic meeting was in the bronze medal match at Amsterdam 1928, when Germany claimed their first Olympic hockey medal with a 3-0 win.
  • Belgium’s only victory against Germany in major international competition was the 4-3 win in the bronze medal match at the 2007 Euro Hockey Championship that qualified them for Beijing 2008.
  • Dekeyser also scored a goal in that match, along with Alexandre de Saedeleer, Jerome Truyens and Charles Vandeweghe.
  • Belgium coach Colin Batch (AUS) played for Australia in a 2-2 draw against West Germany in London at the 1986 world cup.

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