Belgium, Russia and Ukraine lead the charge for Round 2
After two days of competition, Belgium, Russia and Ukraine have marked themselves out as the teams to beat at the Hockey World League Round 1 event currently taking place in Vienna, Austria. All three sides have 100 percent win records, something which is certain to have changed at the end of Day 3.
Belgium made their title intentions clear on Tuesday by handing out a 7-1 thrashing to Lithuania before battling to a 2-1 victory against Austria on Wednesday. The Russians also had success against the tournament hosts, winning 2-1 before maintaining their winning run with a 2-0 triumph against Wales. Ukraine are yet to concede a goal in the tournament, having claimed 1-0 and 2-0 wins against Wales and Lithuania respectively.
On day three of the competition, Russia will be aiming to maintain their 100 percent win record when they face bottom of the table Lithuania, a side that conceded nine times in their opening two matches in Vienna.
The biggest match of the day is the crucial clash between Ukraine and Belgium at 14.45. A win for either side will keep them in touch with the top of the table, while a draw could see Russia move two points clear.
The day's final match sees Wales taking on Austria, with both sides aiming to claim their first points of the event. A win for either side would resurrect their hopes of securing a top four finish and therefore sealing a place in Round 2 of the Hockey World League. For more information about the tournament in Vienna, please click here.
For those not in the know, the Hockey World League has been developed by the FIH to present hockey at its best whilst also providing rapidly improving hockey nations with a stage to show what they are capable of. The tournament has four rounds which take place between August 2012 and February 2013, with each round acting as a qualifier for the next. This process gives every team the potential reach the tournament final. The Hockey World League also acts as the qualification competition for the FIH World Cups which take place in 2014, with 12 qualification places up for grabs. To read more information about the aims and structure of the tournament, please click here.
Official match reports from the competition will be posted to the Vienna 2012 World League webpage at the end of each tournament day. For real-time results, please follow the FIH World League Twitter feed https://twitter.com/World_League1 or use the hashtag search: #World_League1Back