|March 4th, 2008|
|9||Round-Robin||7:30pm||CHI - GBR||1 - 4 (0 - 0)||Final|
The very important game between Chile and Great Britain was played in front of a large assistance that came after work to cheer the host team trying to stay alive in the competition. After their surprise loss to Austria on opening day, the Chileans could not afford any more misshape, and worked very hard to survive the initial British surge without any damage on the scoreboard. Great Britain had 6 penalty-corners in the first 20 minutes, but could not fool the well organized Chilean defense.
With tempers flaring, Sebastian KAPSCH received a yellow card and Chile were reduced to ten players. They nevertheless managed to threaten Alistair McGREGOR in the British goal on a fast action by Thomas KRUSSIG concluded by a superb shot at full speed that shaved the goal post.
Great Britain was playing with more poise, while Chile were showing signs of nervousness as the game progressed and they were pushed back time after time by the well organized British defense. Simon MANTELL had a good opportunity in the last minute of the period, after a clever build-up by Barry MIDDLETON, but halftime was reached on the tied score of 0-0.
The second half was very intense, played at higher pace in the cooler air of the evening. The Chilean defense was stretched on occasions and Great Britain benefited from more penalty-corners. On one of them, Richard MANTELL finally slotted his flick low inside the left post, opening the scoring. Soon after, on a broken penalty-corner at the other end, the British defense didn’t regroup fast enough and the ball came back to Esteban KRAINZ who just had to deflect it in goal to tie the game, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Their pleasure was short lived as Great Britain regained the lead a few minutes later, Barry MIDDLETON finishing in style a good penetrating run by Jonty CLARKE. They deepened the gap by James TINDALL, after a clever set-up by Simon MANTELL who faked a shot to force the goalkeeper to commit then managed to slide the ball to his partner in front of the empty goal. TINDALL scored his second goal of the night in the 66th minute, benefiting this time of the preparatory work of Barry MIDDLETON.
For their first real test of the competition, Great Britain showed a compact defensive organization and some interesting speed and flair in midfield and in the forward line. They deservingly won the match, spoiling in the process the hopes of Chile to make it to the Final on Sunday.