Argentina FIH Champions Trophy – Day 1 – Argentina v New Zealand
(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)
New Zealand surprised at the Argentina FIH Champions Trophy by drawing 2-2 with host Argentina. The Netherlands made the perfect start to the defence of their title with a 3-1 victory over China in the opening match in Rosario. Great Britain celebrated a deserved 3-0 win against Japan. Germany beat Korea 4-2.
Full reports on all the matches can be found below, with extensive tournament information available by clicking here
.Late goals by Welten and Agliotti give Netherlands victory
Pool A – Netherlands 3-1 China
After a goalless first half, The Netherlands defeated China thanks to late strikes from Lidewij Welten and Marilyn Agliotti. It was their 7th victory over China in their 12th CT encounter.
It took The Netherlands just over three minutes to win their first penalty corner. Dutch specialist Maartje Paumen took responsibility but her attempt was well saved by China goalkeeper Zhang Lei. Just three minutes later China came up dangerously in the Dutch circle winning their first penalty corner which they missed.
Both teams failed to create good open play goal-scoring opportunities in the first half. The Olympic Champions had more ball possession during the first 35 minutes but couldn't put themselves on the scoreboard. They failed to score from six penalty corners in total. Paumen was denied four times, while efforts from Eva de Goede and Kim Lammers were also blocked. The counter-attacking Chinese managed to break through the Dutch defence a couple of times but failed to really test goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek. The last Champions Trophy encounter between these teams that produced a scoreless 1st half came in 2009, when the Dutch won 1-0 through a penalty corner goal by Marilyn Agliotti.
The second half started off with a great attack by the Dutch. Lidewij Welten (37’) won possession near the circle line and shot immediately. Lammers jumped out of the way which seemed to have irritated Chinese goalie Zhang. It was Welten’s second Champions Trophy career goal which gave her team the lead. The Olympic silver medallists from China struck back through their Champions Trophy all-time top scorer Ma Yibo (46’) who converted China’s fourth penalty corner in the match.
Play got hectic afterwards as China started becoming the better side. They put the Dutch under great pressure, but failed to win any penalty corners. The Netherlands took the lead by another goal from Welten (64') which came out of the blue. The goal gave the European Champions extra confidence, and Marilyn Agliotti (69’) finished another Dutch attack to secure a third successive victory in the opening match of a Champions Trophy competition.
More information about the match NED v CHN can be found by clicking here
.Great Britain celebrate deserved victory over Japan
Pool A – Great Britain 3-0 Japan
Great Britain continued their remarkable record of having never suffered a Champions Trophy defeat when Crista Cullen gets on the score-sheet thanks to a 3-0 win against Japan. The 26 year old scored the opening goal and Great Britain have never lost a Champions Trophy match when her name was mentioned on the score-sheet.
Great Britain started with great pace in their first match against Japan. They controlled the game, having more ball possession and circle penetrations but failed to score. However, continued pressure from Great Britain resulted in the first penalty corner. Crista Cullen’s drag-flick (21’) found its way into the net, giving the host of the London 2012 Olympic Games the lead. After Alex Danson was tackled near the circle-line Great Britain received their second penalty corner in this match. This time Cullen’s flick went wide.
Shortly after Helen Richardson (33’) doubled the lead scoring her first field goal in her Champions Trophy career. Great Britain have never lost after leading by two goals in Champions Trophy competition, and that trend was continue in this fixture.
In the second half, Japan earned their first penalty corner which led to a penalty stroke after the ball hit a British defender’s body. Team-captain Kate Walsh called for a video referral. The British referral was approved by the video umpire and play went on with British ball possession.
Japan were more in the game towards the middle of the second half keeping the British defence busy. Towards the end of the match Great Britain increased pace led by their world class striker Alex Danson. Japan became stronger after Laura Unsworth was sent off with a green card given by umpire Carolina de la Fuente. Danson (65') destroyed all Japanese hopes when she tipped in a high ball into the net making it 3-0. Japan took their video referral to ask about dangerous play which was denied.
Japanese team-captain Yukari Yamamoto and Rika Komazawa played her 200th international match today.
More information about the match GBR v JPN can be found by clicking here
.Powerful Germans defeat Korea
Pool B – Germany 4-2 Korea
The first match in Pool B started with fire as Germany scored the fastest opening goal in this competition so far. Christina Schütze (2’) scored from Germany’s first penetration into the Korean circle to give them a 1-0 lead. Germany's previous fastest goal came in the third minute of the 1997 Champions Trophy final Germany v Australia (1-2) when Britta Becker scored.
Korea struck back immediately thanks to a successful counter-attack by Cheon Eun-Bi (5’). Shortly after the Koreans, who impressed by winning the 4-Nations-Tournament in Cordoba, took the lead. Kim Jong-Hee (12’) was able to shoot into the empty German goal after receiving a pass from Kim Jong-Eun, who beat the advancing German goalkeeper Yvonne Frank. Germany were not impressed and equalized thanks to Anke Brockmann (17’). The 23 year old smashed in a penalty corner in her first Champions Trophy match. Just before halftime Celine Wilde (34’) gave the lead back to Germany scoring a tremendous goal from the top of the circle.
As soon as the second half has started Lisa Hahn (36’), the other German playing her Champions Trophy debut, increased the lead when she finished her circle penetration with a skillful backhand stroke. Katharina Otte had the chance to increase the score as she beat the Korean goalie with a stunning shot but her attempt was denied by the umpire because the shot was adjudged to have come from outside the circle-line. Korea were urgent to score afterwards but German goalkeeper Frank did a good job in defending shots early and her defence supported her well clearing quickly. The Koreans were unlucky when Park Mi-Hyun’s attempt hit the post.
More information about the match GER v KOR can be found by clicking here
.New Zealand surprise by drawing with Argentina
Pool B – Argentina 2-2 New Zealand
New Zealand are the surprise of day one after achieving a tied result against the World Champions. Although Argentina fought back after being 0-2 down, the result is still a success for the Black Sticks.
Argentina started off great on their home soil but failed to score from open play. New Zealand were penetrating the circle through counter-attacks. Although every Argentine ball possession made the crowd cheer the Black Sticks were the first team to win a penalty corner in this match. While the current World Champions did not win any penalty corners in the first half, New Zealand - who lost their two previous matches against Argentina at the recent Four Nations tournament in Cordoba - surprised by opening the scoring thanks to an open play effort from Stacey Michelsen (28'). The last time Argentina were trailing at half-time in a Champions Trophy match was in 2011 against Korea 1-1 (0-1).
New Zealand doubled lead in yhe second half when Samantha Harrison (50’) flicked the rebound coming from the Argentine goalkeeper Belen Succi into the net. One minute later Argentine Martina Cavallero (51') scored in her debut match, sparking wild celebrations from a huge home crowd. The Black Sticks called for a video referral, but failed in their attempt to get the goal overturned. “Las Leonas” - who won the 2010 FIH World Cup in the same stadium here in Rosario - kept on penetrating the Black Sticks’ circle and created several opportunities but couldn’t defeat the outstanding defence from New Zealand. Three minutes before the end of the match Delfina Merino (67') finally equalized for Argentina after converting the rebound of a penalty corner. It was the second time Argentina have come back from being two goals down in a Champions Trophy match.
Black Stick Clarissa Eshuis played her 100th cap today.
More information about the match ARG v NZL can be found by clicking here