Field hockey — World CupSunday, June 8, 2014
Netherlands go top of women’s group
Netherlands win a crucial match against Australia in women’s World Cup to remain atop in Pool A while Australia added another win in men’s competition to be closer to qualifying for semifinals.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch women, 2-0 winners, had real opposition for the first time against Australia who dominated the first 18 minutes and then it evened up. Australia impressed by defending their circle very well and giving up no penalty corners in the first half when they had the better chances with three penalty corners.
The Dutch got on top after scoring their first goal through Kim Lammers after 57 minutes. The Aussies seemed to lose heart after having played the better hockey. Naomi van Ass scored the second goal with five minutes to go. They are unlikely to be caught up by Belgium as they have an insurmountable goals record of 12-1. But it should be noted that they got no goals from five second half penalty corners. In other Pool A matches, Korea beat Belgium 4-2 and New Zealand beat Japan 4-1.
Men’s Australia virtually won Group A by beating England 5-0 yesterday. With full points from four games (12), they lead the Belgians by three points, but have a plus six superior goal difference with one match to go. The second semifinal place will be decided between Belgium (9 points) and England (7) tomorrow, although India have a mathematical chance only if they beat Australia in the last group match.
Australia were on top from the start and scored in the first minute, leading 4-0 at the break. Their goals came from Matt Gohdes, Liam De Young, Jamie Dwyer, Kiernan Govers and Alan Zalewsky.
India finally scored three goals, with a couple by Akashdeep Singh, to beat weak Malaysia 3-2. Also yesterday, Belgium defeated Spain 5-2.
Today, the Argentine men play South Korea and the players do not feel too confident about the match. Korea is always a difficult team, yet they have not won any of their three games so far, while Argentina are joint second with New Zealand. A win would be important for second place, while their last group game is against bottom South Africa.
Argentina’s women, which lead their group jointly with the United States, both with 9-3 goals records, face England which, in previous performances here does not appear as a danger even if captain Luciana Aymar will not play. But it should be remembered that virtually unchanged England beat Argentina for third place in the World League finals in Tucumán last December. The US, meanwhile also play Germany which should be harder to beat. Finally, that Argentine goal against Germany, which was incorrectly forbidden by a video umpire on Friday, could make a lot of difference.