New Zealand and The Netherlands won their first games at the Hero Honda FIH World Cup 2010 in Delhi, against Canada (3-2) and Argentina (3-0) while defending Champion Germany had to share points with Korea (2-2).
Game 4 – New Zealand v. Canada: 3-2 (half-time: 1-2)
The last time New Zealand and Canada met in a World Cup was in 1998 in Utrecht; it ended in a tie (3-3) with current Canadian Coach Alan Brahmst scoring a penalty-corner for his team. Two current Canadian players, Ken PEREIRA and Rob SHORT, were already playing back then and were honoured before the start of today’s game for their 300th International Cap.
The game could not start better for Canada, with Mark PEARSON taking advantage of confusion in the circle to slot the ball past Kyle PONTIFEX in the New Zealand’s goal within one minute of play! This gave the Canucks confidence and they dictated the tempo for a while, but the Kiwis exploited well a stolen ball in midfield for a quick counter-attack that created havoc in the Canadian circle, with Priyesh BHANA (the late replacement for star striker Simon CHILD) well positioned to push the ball in goal past a stranded Dave CARTER.
The game became balanced between two teams with similar styles. Mark PEARSON had a good chance but his strong low shot was easily handled by Kyle PONTIFEX, while at the other end Scott TUPPER was keeping Phillip BURROWS under a close watch. Canada went up again in the 20th minute by Philip WRIGHT, laying on the ground but managing to pick up his own rebound from a close range deflection.
The two teams were neutralizing each other, with Ryan ARCHIBALD and Phillip BURROWS on one side, Rob SHORT and Ken PEREIRA on the other, running the midfield. Canada survived a green card to Dave JAMESON in the final minute of the period to reach the break with the advantage.
New Zealand started to increase the pressure early in second period and the Canadian back defense was in hot water in a few occasions, but they managed to keep at bay a Kiwi team playing tentatively. The first penalty-corner of the game was awarded in the 47th minute and Nicholas HAIG powered the ball in goal after a quick combination to bring New Zealand level for the second time of the match.
With twenty minutes to go, the Canadians started to lose some of their initial poise, and Ryan ARCHIBALD was prompt to exploit the situation to bring back the danger in front of Dave CARTER. The game became more open, with counter-attacks on both sides going the full length of the pitch. The Canadian survived a second penalty-corner, thanks to a superb save by Dave CARTER, and immediately earned one of their own after a DEOL-PEARSON counter-attack, saved equally well by Kyle PONTIFEX.
New Zealand grabbed the lead for the first time with less three minutes to go by Ryan ARCHIBALD, slamming the ball into the Canadian goal from close range. A late challenge by Canada was unsuccessful and New Zealand finished with the three points a match that could have gone either way.
Match Facts (New Zealand v. Canada):
> New Zealand won 3-2 to extend their World Cup unbeaten run against Canada to three matches.
> Today’s victory ended New Zealand’s 4-match losing streak in WC competition.
> Ryan Archibald (NZL) 67th minute winner marked the third WC goal in his career. He has now scored in three successive World Cup tournaments.
> Archibald has now equalled the New Zealand record for scoring in most World Cup editions, held by Arthur Parkin and Ramesh Patel, who both scored in 1973, 1975 and 1982.
> Priyesh Bhana, Nick Haig (NZL), Mark Pearson (CAN) and Philip Wright (CAN) all scored on their World Cup debut.
Game 5 – Germany v. Korea: 2-2 (half-time: 0-2)
Two-time defending World Champions Germany started the defense of their title against Korea, a team against which they are unbeaten in World Cup history. Things did not start well for them: after scrambling two penalty-corners, they had to defend one earned after video-referral by the Koreans, and Hye Sung HYUN made no mistake to power his drag-flick past Maximilian MÜLLER in the German goal.
Benjamin WESS earned another penalty-corner after running around the Korean defense, but Myung Ho LEE made a clean glove save to protect his goal. The German team is the youngest in the competition with an average of only 24, and only three payers in the current squad have World Cup experience (Matthias WITTHAUS, Jan-Marco MONTAG and Moritz FÜRSTE) but certainly does not lack talent and skills. They were circulating the ball crisply but could not penetrate a patient and well regrouped Korean defense, exploding in speedy counter-attack each time they were taking possession of the ball.
Korea increased their lead in the 15th minute by Nam Yong LEE, with a spectacular reverse stick shot from a narrow angle. Germany had more chances on penalty-corners, but their various options were unsuccessful and they were even lucky to avoid a third goal when Sung Hoon YOON outran the defense but powered his shot just wide.
The young Germans pushed boldly in second period, and often had the Koreans on their heels, but still could not get on the scoreboard. They were finally rewarded in the 50th minute when youngster Florian FUCHS deflected acrobatically in goal a free hit driven into the circle by Moritz FÜRSTE. They maintain their pressure and play did not leave the Korean defensive zone for long period of time. Benjamin WESS equalized in the 58th minute after a broken penalty-corner that evolved into a furious scramble in the Korean circle.
This set the stage for a very intense end of game, with both teams throwing caution to the wind to try and score again. Sung Hoon YOON had a golden chance in front of the empty goal, but he could not control the bouncing ball, while at the other end the Koreans barely get themselves out of another messy situation. The match ended on a parity score, with the Koreans dominant to start with then the Germans showing their strength and talent after shaking off their initial nerves.
Match Facts (Germany v. Korea):
> Germany came back from 2 goals down to draw 2-2 with Korea and avoid their first defeat against Korea in 5 World Cup matches.
> Germany extended their World Cup unbeaten run to 14-matches, the third longest unbeaten streak in the history of the competition and the longest in 20 years.
> Germany have now failed to beat Korea in their last three competitive encounters drawing 3-3 at the 2008 Olympic Games, losing 5-3 at the 2009 Champions Trophy and drawing 2-2 at the 20101 World Cup.
> Korea led 2-0 at half-time. The last time GER were at least 2 goals behind at half-time in a World Cup match was in the 1994 Bronze medal match against AUS (4-0), which ended 5-2.
> Florian Fuchs scored his eighth international goal in only his eighth appearance for the German National team.
Game 6 – Netherlands v. Argentina: 3-0 (half-time: 2-0)
Argentina, the last of 12 nations to qualify for the Hero Honda FIH 2010 World Cup by winning the World Cup Qualification tournament at home in Quilmes, opened the competition against triple World Cup winners The Netherlands. The Dutch were immediately all over the South Americans, missing a few early goals after some fancy combinations, but Klaas VERMEULEN finally earned a penalty-corner in the 13th minute after a swift pass from Teun DE NOOIJER and Taeke TAEKEMA powered his drag-flick under the crossbar to open the scoring.
That triggered a good reaction from Argentina, showing their skills with some fancy combinations to carry the danger in front of the Dutch goal, but Guus VOGELS was alert to protect the lead. The Dutch weathered the storm calmly and came forward strongly in the final stage of the period, earning a second penalty-corner dutifully converted by Taeke TAEKEMA.
The Argentineans desperately pushed forward, but they were inefficient on their four penalty-corners and were repeatedly denied by Guus VOGELS in great form. The Dutch team did not seem to worry too much, relying on their positioning and passing to control the midfield, and occasionally launching counter-attacks. Taeke TAEKEMA completed his hat-trick of penalty-corners in the 61st minute, his 16th World Cup goal, only one short from his compatriot Floris Jan BOVELANDER.
The Dutch cruised to a final 3-0 win, increasing to seven their unbeaten streak against Argentina in World Cup action.
Match Facts (Netherlands v. Argentina):
> The Netherlands beat Argentina 3-0, to go top in Pool A, leading New Zealand on goal difference.
> Taeke Taekema converted 3 penalty corners to lift his World Cup total to 16 goals.
> He is now one goal short from equaling his fellow countryman and penalty corner specialist Floris Jan Bovelander who netted 17 goals (1986-1994).
> Taekema’s 3 goals marked the 50th hat-trick in World Cup history (source B.G.Joshi).
> At the 2006 World Cup Taekema scored 5 goals in Holland's 6-1 win over India.
> Taekema has now scored in each of the last five World Cup matches for the Dutch team.
The Hero Honda FIH World Cup 2010 continues on Tuesday in Delhi when South Africa play England, Pakistan meet Spain and host India conclude the day against Australia.
For additional information, pictures, video clips, official game sheets, and more, please check the special FIH event site @ http://www.worldhockey.org/worldcup/.
Hero Honda FIH World Cup 2010 (men) – Delhi, India
Results Day 2 - Monday 1 March 2010
New Zealand v. Canada 3:2 (1:2)
CAN 1mn Mark PEARSON (FG) 0:1
NZL 11mn Priyesh BHANA (FG) 1:1
CAN 20mn Philip WRIGHT (FG) 1:2
NZL 47mn Nicholas HAIG (PC) 2:2
NZL 66mn Ryan ARCHIBALD (FG) 3:2
Germany v. Korea 2:2 (0:2)
KOR 4mn Hye Sung HYUN (PC) 0:1
KOR 15mn Nam Yong LEE (FG) 0:2
GER 50mn Florian FUCHS (FG) 1:2
GER 58mn Benjamin WESS (FG) 2:2
Netherlands v. Argentina 3:0 (2:0)
NED 13mn Taeke TAEKEMA (FG) 1:0
NED 35mn Taeke TAEKEMA (FG) 2:0
NED 61mn Taeke TAEKEMA (FG) 3:0
Pool A: 1) Netherlands 3 pts (+3) 2) New Zealand 3 pts (+1) 3) Germany and Korea 1 pt 5) Canada 0 pt (-1) 6) Argentina 0 pt (-3)
Pool B: 1) India 3 pts (+3) 2) Spain 3 pts (+2) 3) England 3 pts (+1) 4) Australia 0 pt (-1) 5) South Africa 0 pt (-2) 6) Pakistan 0 pt (-3)
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