(Photo: © FIH / Stanislas Brochier)

The FIH Indoor World Cup has got underway in Poznan, Poland, with the crowds enjoying plenty of goals on the first day. Germany men in particular were on fire, netting 18 goals against Namibia, while Belarus women also moved into double figures in their triumph over the Africans. However, host nation Poland delighted the home supporters with victories for both their men’s and women’s teams.

Germany and Russia top the Pool tables in the men’s competition at the end of day 1 thanks to impressive performances that will mark them out as strong contenders for the title.
Germany, competing in Pool A, trounced Namibia 18-0, showing that their team of world class outdoor players are simply sensational at the indoor game as well. Oscar DEECKE hit five goals as his side blitzed the Africans with slick passing and wonderful finishing. The Netherlands outgunned Canada 5-1 to get their tournament off to a perfect start with Robert TIGGES and Mirco PRUYSER netting two goals each. Poland played their match against Australia in front of a large and noisy crowd, with the hosts bouncing back from a goal deficit to emerge 3-1 winners thanks a double strike from Tomasz GORNY.

In Pool B, Russia were the dominant force against the USA, powering to a 6-2 win over the USA. Veteran star Aleksandr PLATOV scored three times for Russia to help them to victory. European champions Austria were also in good form, defeating Iran 5-1 with Benjamin STANZL grabbing an important double to ensure all three points went the way of the Europeans. Like Iran, England were making their debut in an FIH Indoor World Cup, and sneaked a 2-1 win against Czech Republic thanks to a 33rd minute penalty stroke from Simon MANTELL.

There were also six games in the women’s competition on Day 1, which saw victories for reigning World Champions The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Germany, Poland and Belarus.
In Pool A, Czech Republic claimed the spoils by the narrowest of margins when a late Klára POLOPRUTSKÁ goal sealed a 1-0 win over Austria, while The Dutch got their campaign off to a flying start by crushing Kazakhstan 9-0 thanks in part to a hat-trick from captain Belle van MEER. The third match in Pool A was a close battle between European champions Ukraine and Argentina, with an overtime penalty corner from Maryna VYNOHRADOVA sealing the win against the competitive South Americans. The Netherlands currently top the Pool on goal difference. 

In Pool B, Belarus recorded a stunning 12-0 win over Namibia to ensure that they are top of the Pool overnight. Yulia MIKHEICHYK and Yuliya KURGANSKAYA both scored trebles in an impressive display over their African opponents. Host nation Poland began their campaign with a 2-1 triumph over Australia, while tournament favourites Germany edged out Uruguay 2-0 thanks to strikes from Rike SAGER and iconic forward Natascha KELLER.

Tomorrow will see no less than 18 matches being played as the teams continue their quests to achieve greatness in the FIH Indoor World Cup. For more information about the event, please visit www.poznan2011.sportcentric.com