The first match of the midday session was between Asian rivals China (ranked 5th in the world) and Korea (ranked 8th). With rain falling steadily at the beginning of the match, it took some time for the crowd to get into cheering mode and for the match to pick up pace.
Both teams were playing with similar styles, disciplined defense and swift counter-attacks, however creating very few clear opportunities for goal. China had a penalty-corner in the 15th minute, but Ma Yibo’s low shot for an option fizzled. They had another opportunity in the 25th minute and this time Ma Yibo slotted her flick high and out of reach of Moon Young Hui in the Korean goal.
With the sun making a timid return, the end of the period was much more animated, with a few hot situations in the Chinese circle, but the score stayed 1-0 at the break, giving the impression was that the contest could go either way.
Korea started the second half faster trying to force the equalizer quickly. They swarmed the Chinese circle and on the verge of equalizing when Zhao Yudiao made the most of a loose ball in the opposite circle to score the second Chinese goal to establish a comfortable 2-0 lead.
The Chinese players found their second wind and promptly earned a penalty-stroke. Li Hongxia easily pushed the score to 3-0, setting an insurmountable climb back for Korea. The game became rougher and the two teams traded cards, with China down to nine players for a few minutes. In the final minutes, Ma Yibo scored her second penalty-corner of the match (doubling on the first day of competition her goal-tally from Beijing, where she only scored once in 18 penalty-corner attempts) and China grabbed their first win with a comfortable 4-0 margin..
Yudiao ZHAO (CHN), on how China has developed as a team since 2008: "After 2008 we didn't perform well, but since then we've trained hard and now we're here. We don't want to waste the past four years of hard work."
PARK Mihyun (KOR), on team tactics: "We set up many attacks. Our plan failed as the coach of China is Korean (KIM Sangryul) and he knows Korean tactics. It is our first game, we have many more matches. We are looking forward to them, we will do our best."