Rio de Janeiro (10 August, 2016): After posting rapturous start to their campaign in Rio Olympics, World No 6 China suffered a mild hiccup in the women’s hockey event at the Deodoro Olympic Park on Wednesday.
China, ranked World No 6, was well on its way to a scoreless draw against defending champions Netherlands but lost focus two minutes before the end of play by allowing Kitty Van Male to score the most vital goal needed to stay unbeaten in three matches.
It was neither a moment to cherish too for three other Asian teams – Korea, Japan and India in their preliminary round matches.
South Korea went down 0-2 against Germany with goals from Hannah Kruger (54th) and Lisa Altenburg (58th) in Group A while Japan and India came off the pitch with disappointing Group B results after losing by 1-6 margin of defeats against United States and Australia respectively.
The Indian defence remained under attack throughout the game and never really offered much in terms of offence. And India did get a goal in the final seconds but that was too little. Mathematically India has a chance of making the quarterfinals provided they win their remaining matches against United States on Thursday and Argentina on Aug 13.
Sushila Chanu side was looking for an improved performance from their last match against Great Britain where they conceded three goals to lose the match. They had earlier put up an impressive form against a formidable Japanese side to draw 2-2.
Kathryn Slattery got the Australians off to a fantastic start, with a penalty corner goal four minutes into the first quarter, thanks to a swift pass from captain Madonna Blyth. Only four minutes later Georgie Morgan found herself with her second goal for the tournament with a powerful drag-flick slotting in a penalty corner goal for the Aussies.
Jane Claxton (34th) and Georgie Parker (35th) followed up with goals as the Australians went 4-0 ahead in the third quarter. Jodie Kenny scored a brace in the 42nd and 45th minutes for Australia to sail far away of any threat from the Indians.
With only 8 seconds remaining on the clock, India got one on the board, with a high shot off a deflection sailing high into the net thanks to Anuradha Thokchom.
China’s single-goal defeat against China saw them move down to fourth spot in Group A table standings with Netherlands (9 points) leading followed by Germany (7) and New Zealand (6) while Spain and Korea have yet to win a point.
The United States and Great Britain have booked 1-2 position on top with nine-equal points. Great Britain defeated Argentina 2-1 on Wednesday and on track to qualify for the quarterfinals.
In men’s hockey, World Champions Australia broke the duck after 208 minutes of play in Rio without a goal, one of the longest periods for the Australians, by defeating Great Britain 2-1. The late resurgence saw all three goals come in the last 10 minutes of play, making for a nail-bitingly tense game.
New Zealand also enjoyed a fruitful day with a 9-0 drubbing of hosts Brazil. Nick Wilson scored four goals with Shay Neal, Simon Child and Kane Russell added their names to the scoring list.
India’s men’s team will return to the hockey stadium on Thursday in a must-win match against Netherlands while in women’s fixtures the Indian eves face United States and Japan entertains Great Britain.
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