On Day 2 of the Olympic Test Event in London, the women's matches saw Korea hold Argentina to a draw, and Great Britain defeat China. In the men's competition, Germany edged out Australia and Great Britain secured three points against India.
With these results, GB women are certain finalists with their opponents to be decided between Argentina and Korea. The Germany men managed early confirmation of their spot in the final as well, with their competition in the battle for the top of the podium to be decided in the direct encounter between Australia and Great Britain.
Despite the cold and rainy weather, the day at the Riverbank Arena started off on a high note with the fast-paced and intense match between World Champions Argentina and the number 8 of the world, Korea. The end result, a goalless draw, is evidence of a balanced match that saw both teams put an emphasis on defense, resulting in few goal oportunities on either side.
The best chance at breaking the deadlock came 12 minutes before the end of the match when Korean captain Lee Seonok cut an attack by her Argentine counterpart Carla Rebecchi short, resulting in a penalty stroke for the Leonas. Moon Younghui in the Korean goal however warded off Silvina d'Elia's valiant effort to protect the even scoreline, thus securing a point for her team and keeping the dream of the Final alive .
Next up was the other women's match of the day between Great Britain and China. The home team took the lead early with a Crista Cullen penalty corner goal, but was subsequently denied by the Chinese defense on a number of occasions, resulting in a 1-0 halftime scoreline which belies the British superiority in the first half. After the break, Great Britain continued to struggle to make their dominance count and find the net, but eventually added a pair of goals in the dying minutes of the match to drive the scoreline up as Susie Gilbert scored from the field with two minutes to go, and Crista Cullen increased her tally of the day to two with another penalty corner conversion after the 70 minutes had ended.
The day's programme continued with the best men's hockey currently has to offer, pitting world number 1 and World Champions Australia against world number 2 and current Olympic Champions Germany. Performing to expectation, the two sides delivered an entertaining 70 minutes filled with high energy hockey. The Kookaburras pulled ahead in the 12th minute, courtesy of Russell Ford, but Moritz Fürste levelled the scores again only minutes later with a beautiful goal from the top of the circle. Young Florian Fuchs upped the ante with a goal from a narrow angle, giving Germany the lead for the first time towards the end of the first half - a position from which the team didn't look back.
Australia put significant pressure on their opponents in the second half but couldn't break the German defense, instead having to concede one more goal with less than two minutes before the end as Christopher Zeller sunk a penalty corner. Eddie Ockenden pulled one back for Australia with a last minute goal, but it was too late to do more.
Rounding up the day's programme, Great Britain men faced off with India. Rob Moore put the hosts on track after only 4 minutes with a superb reverse stick effort, and Simon Mantell increased the lead to two minutes later with a lucky goal as a ball across the circle was deflected into the net by an unlucky Indian defender. VR Raghunath soon put India on the score board as well, sinking a penalty corner, only to find the British respond with two penalty corners in as many minutes at the hds of Ashley Jackson for a 4-1 halftime score.
In the second half, a number of chances on both sides yielded only one more goal as Sandeep Singh brought out his trademark penalty corner flick midway through the 35 minutes, but it was result cosmetics only, the win safely in British hands. The home team now has the opportunity to secure their ticket into the Final in Saturday's showdown with Australia.
After a rest day tomorrow, the tournament continues with the last round of pool matches on Saturday. In the women's competition, China face Korea and Great Britain clash with Argentina, while in the men's event, Germany take on India and Australia play Great Britain.
Argentina - Korea 0:0 (0:0)
China - Great Britain 0:3 (0:1)
Germany - Australia 3:2 (2:1)
Great Britain - India 4:2 (4:1)
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