Lausanne, Switzerland – An imposing total of 138 goals were scored on the first day of the women’s tournament at the inaugural FIH Hockey5s World Cup in Muscat, Oman on Wednesday.
After an action-packed opening day, four sides have already booked their places in the quarter-finals of the quick-fire event.
With two victories each on Wednesday, the Netherlands, Ukraine, South Africa and India are all assured of their places in the final eight.
Here is how the day’s proceedings unfolded…
The Netherlands showed themselves to be real tournament contenders, posting two big wins to book their place in the quarter-finals. They first dismantled Fiji 14-1 with hat-tricks from Bente van der Veldt and Marloes Timmermans. The Dutch side then went on to hammer Malaysia 10-0 and, although it took them eight minutes to find a goal, they put some exquisite plays together. All of the Dutch outfield players scored at least two goals each on the day.
Afterwards, Van der Veldt reflected on their opening day success: “Mission accomplished. We were really excited for today, and we are really glad we won two times. I think it was a good team performance so I’m really proud. I think we really focused on making team goals today and that’s what we did. You could see we made a lot of beautiful goals and that’s something we will focus on in the coming days.”
In other matches in Pool A, Malaysia posted a solid 10-0 victory against hosts Oman, Zati Muhamad scoring four of those goals and Zafirah Aziz scoring three. Fiji came from behind and then snuck in a late goal in their 3-2 win against hosts Oman – both sides making their debuts at an FIH Hockey World Cup event. The day’s results mean Malaysia and Fiji face each other on Thursday with a spot in the quarter-finals up for grabs.
Ukraine and South Africa secured their places in the quarter-finals with two good wins each.
Ukraine started with an impressive 6-3 win over Australia, Anna Tanchenko scoring a hat-trick. They then romped home 9-0 against Zambia as Karyna Leonova chalked up four goals.
Kateryna Pokidko was in buoyant mood for Ukraine: “We are really happy… the goal for today was to get as many points as possible and we achieved that… now recovery and tomorrow is another really serious match.”
Meanwhile, South Africa cruised to a 9-1 victory against the side that beat them in the pool stages of their continental qualifier – Zambia. Toni Marks bagged three goals in the SA side’s opening match. They followed this up with a 6-3 win over Australia in an enthralling contest, Grace Cochrane doing sterling work in the South African goal when the match was still evenly poised.
South Africa’s Dirkie Chamberlain was delighted with the day’s outcome: “We came here to make a mark… we want to go all the way, aim for medal. But that comes with taking every game as it comes… I’m happy with the girls and the character they showed today.”
India recorded a narrow 5-4 win over Poland in the opening pool match and then fought back with six unanswered goals in 12 minutes to beat the USA 7-3 after earlier trailing by two goals. The Indian side are now guaranteed to advance to the quarter-finals but they will be aiming to top the table when they face hosts Oman on Thursday.
India’s Mariana Kujur said afterwards: “It’s a very nice feeling. In the morning we played Poland and we won 5-4 and that’s why we had confidence. Everyone had confidence and we just played a simple game. Everyone played very well and that’s why we won.”
In their other game of the day, the USA went a goal down early against Namibia but bounced back for an easy 6-1 win, Charlotte de Vries completing her hat-trick in the first half. Poland beat Namibia 5-1 so their showdown with the USA on Thursday is for a quarter-final spot, while Namibia will play off for the lower places.
Pool D is set up for a dramatic final round in that all four teams still have a statistical chance of progressing to the quarter-finals. Uruguay look most likely to advance, having completely dominated Paraguay for a 10-1 win, with Teresa Viana bagging five goals for her team in that match. They followed this up with a clinical performance to beat New Zealand 6-1, Viana adding another two to her haul to take her to the top of the goal-scorers chart. Uruguay’s superior goal difference in the pool means it will require some extraordinary results on Thursday morning to deny them a place in the quarter-finals, but they will look to control their destiny by beating Thailand.
New Zealand fought back from a goal down to defeat Thailand 4-3 earlier in the day, and Thailand prevailed 3-1 in a tight contest with Paraguay.
To see the current pool standings for the FIH Hockey 5s World Cup in Muscat, please click here.
FIH Hockey5s World Cup, Oman – 24 January
Result: Match 1 (W)
Australia 3 – 6 Ukraine
Result: Match 2 (W)
South Africa 9 – 1 Zambia
Result: Match 3 (W)
Malaysia 10 – 0 Oman
Result: Match 4 (W)
Netherlands 14 – 1 Fiji
Result: Match 5 (W)
India 5 – 4 Poland
Result: Match 6 (W)
USA 6 – 1 Namibia
Result: Match 7 (W)
New Zealand 4 – 3 Thailand
Result: Match 8 (W)
Uruguay 10 – 1 Paraguay
Result: Match 9 (W)
Ukraine 9 – 0 Zambia
Result: Match 10 (W)
South Africa 6 – 3 Australia
Result: Match 11 (W)
Malaysia 0 – 10 Netherlands
Result: Match 12 (W)
Fiji 3 – 2 Oman
Result: Match 13 (W)
Poland 5 – 1 Namibia
Result: Match 14 (W)
USA 3 – 7 India
Result: Match 15 (W)
Thailand 3 – 1 Paraguay
Result: Match 16 (W)
Uruguay 6 – 1 New Zealand