Tokyo 2020 – Day 4 (Full-Day Review):  Australia continue dominance of Men’s Pool A

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Day 4 (Evening): A third win in succession has ensured that World champions Belgium finished the day three points clear at the top of Pool B, with Germany (2nd), Netherlands (3rd) and Great Britain (4th) tied on six points but separated by goal difference as the quest for the quarter-final berths continued. South Africa and Canada, who both produced excellent displays this evening, are in fifth and sixth respectively with two rounds of matches left to play.

More information about the matches can be found below.


Men’s Pool B


Belgium 9-4 South Africa

Belgium men consolidated their place at the top of the Pool B standings with a big victory against South Africa, but the score-line did not reflect the true nature of a fascinating encounter between the World champions and a South Africa team that is clearly growing in stature with every game.

 

John-John Dohmen’s opening goal was cancelled out by a sensational individual strike from Dayaan Cassiem, who covered half the length of the field in possession before flicking over the shoulder of goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch. Belgium’s response was swift and brutally effective, opening up a 5-1 lead with Hendrickx, Briels, Dohmen again and Arthur Van Doren – who made his 200th international appearance – all on target before the quarter finished. 5-1 became 7-3 by half time as the two nations traded blows, Hendrickx and Gougnard on target for the Belgians while 19-year-old Mustaphaa Cassiem (Dayaan’s younger brother) and Nqobile Ntule netted for South Africa. The African continental champions rattled the Pool B leaders further when the brilliant Dayaan Cassiem netted his second of the game before competition top scorer Hendrickx, completing his second hat-trick of the tournament, and Cedric Charlier finished the scoring.

Commenting on the South African team, Belgium ace Arthur Van Doren said: “They’ve got some speed on them and real skill. You’ve got to respect the quality they’ve brought and been bringing in the whole tournament. I’m looking forward to seeing how they progress in this tournament and the coming years because they’ll probably make some extra steps as well.”

Match information and statistics can be found on Olympics.com by clicking here.


Netherlands 4-2 Canada

The Netherlands moved level on six points with Germany and Great Britain with a 4-2 win against Canada, but were certainly made to work hard for the spoils thanks to a tireless performance from the North Americans.

The Netherlands made an electrifying start to the contest, powering into a 2-0 lead within four minutes thanks to backhand strikes from Billy Bakker and Thierry Brinkman. It was a tough opening spell for the Canadians, but they soon settled and began to create problems for the Dutch defenders. Ten minutes in, the Canadians pulled a goal back when James Wallace pounced from close range after the Netherlands failed to clear their lines. Whilst Canada’s attackers battled hard in an attempt to find an equaliser, they were indebted to goalkeeper Antoni Kindler and his fellow defenders who made numerous crucial interceptions. Canadian hopes were dashed when defender Jop de Mol powered into the circle and slapped home with ten minutes remaining, but Mark Pearson pulled his team back to within one goal three minutes later with a penalty corner deflection.

Canada went for broke in the final minutes by replacing goalkeeper Kindler with an outfield player, but the Dutch put the result beyond all doubt when Mirco Pruijser passed into an empty net from a break-away move.

“We did a good job today”, said Netherlands captain Billy Bakker.  “The previous two matches were not the games how we wanted to play. Today we started from the first minute very aggressively, with a lot of energy and that’s the standard we need to have. I’m glad that we made a big step forward to growing into the tournament.”

Canada goalscorer James Wallace said: “We’re playing really well. I think we’re just missing that final five (or) 10% that’s gonna help us get results against teams like GB, teams like the Dutch and it’s a bit disappointing, a bit heartbreaking at times.”

Match information and statistics can be found on Olympics.com by clicking here.

 

Day 4 (Morning): Australia’s stranglehold of Men’s Pool A continued with another superb display to see off the challenge of Rio 2016 gold medallists Argentina, with India men also claiming an important three points while Japan and New Zealand could only draw. In Pool B, Germany put their title campaign back on course with a triumph over the previously unbeaten Great Britain.

More information about the matches can be found below.


Men’s Pool A


Argentina 2-5 Australia

Australia continued their fine Tokyo form with another thumping win, defeating reigning Olympic champions Argentina 5-2 to take their Pool A points tally to a maximum nine from three matches. The Kookaburras are now certain of a place in the quarter-finals, and have scored a remarkable 17 goals.

Los Leones made a strong start, snatching a first quarter lead thanks to Jose Tolini’s fine penalty corner drag-flick. However, Australia soon found their rhythm, with a double for Blake Govers – his fourth and fifth of the competition – complementing strikes from Tom Wickham and Lachlan Sharp as the world number ones opened up a 4-1 half time lead. Jeremy Hayward rattled home a fifth with a third quarter penalty corner, with Argentina’s Maico Casella netting a late consolation for the Rio 2016 gold medallists.

Commenting on being at the top of Pool A with a very healthy goal difference, Kookaburras’ attacker Govers said: “We’ve still got two games to go (in the pool stage) so we’ve got a lot of improvement to do and a lot to work on, so that’s pleasing for us.”

Argentina goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi said: “In the general balance we played two quarters really well but in the second quarter we made a lot of mistakes. We missed so quickly and so fast the ball and Australia created a lot of chances to score a lot of goals and of course the difference was too great to recover from.”

On Wednesday 28 July, Australia take on Oceania rivals New Zealand, while Argentina – who have four points – aim to keep their quarter-final ambitions on track when they face India on Thursday.

Match information and statistics can be found on Olympics.com by clicking here.


India 3-0 Spain

On a milestone day for Birendra Lakra (200 caps) and Amit Rohidas (100 caps), India recorded their second win of the competition with strong performance against Spain. It was the perfect response to their recent 7-1 defeat at the hands of Australia, bouncing back in style to remain on-track for a quarter-final berth with six points.

India scored twice in the opening period with Simranjeet Singh scoring from open play before Rupinder Pal Singh guiding home a penalty corner to put his team firmly in control. The eight times Olympic gold medallists had to wait unto the fourth quarter for their third goal, with Rupinder Pal Singh again on target from a penalty corner.

Defeat keeps Spain outside of the top four places in the pool, something which they will need to rectify in their final two pool matches if they are to progress into the knock-out phase of the competition.

“Yesterday was a bad day and today we bounced back”, said India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh. “That’s most important because if you can forget the past match and bounce back to play a better game, that’s most important for a game like at the Olympic Games.”

Match information and statistics can be found on Olympics.com by clicking here.

Japan 2-2 New Zealand
Hosts Japan scored two of the best goals yet seen in the men’s competition but it proved only enough for a solitary point, tying an absorbing encounter against New Zealand 2-2.  New Zealand finished the day sitting third in the standings, with the Samurais in fifth position.

Koji Yamasaki put the hosts in front with a dazzling run down the left before lifting the ball between Black Sticks goalkeeper Leon Hayward and his near post. New Zealand levelled thanks to Nick Wilson’s penalty corner follow up, but Kenta Tanaka’s sensational third quarter goal – running three quarters of the length of the field in possession before slotting home – restored Japan’s lead in the third period moments after New Zealand’s Kane Russell missed a penalty stroke. The Black Sticks were not to be denied a share of the spoils, however, with Sam Lane earning his team what might prove to be a valuable point with a deflected penalty corner drag-flick.

“I’m a bit emotional at this moment because our team so did very well and we couldn’t bring it home”, said Japan head coach Siegfried Aikman. “We deserve so much more today and it’s the third match in a row that we played so well and then we really want to go to the quarter-finals.”

Referring to Kenta Tanaka’s wonder-strike, New Zealand’s Blair Tarrant said: “We knew he can do that and he’s good at doing that so it’s really important we stop him early. It’s pretty obvious looking at that clip now, looking at the video, we had to stop him far earlier than we tried to.”

Match information and statistics can be found on Olympics.com by clicking here.

Men’s Pool B

Germany 5-1 Great Britain
A hat-trick from London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Florian Fuchs helped Germany to their second win of the competition, inflicting a 5-1 defeat on the previously unbeaten Great Britain. The result leaves three teams tied on six points at the top of Pool B, although both Germany and Great Britain have played one game more than Belgium, who are in action this evening.

Phil Roper put GB ahead early with a fierce strike from the top of the circle but Die Honamas restored parity seconds later with a diving penalty corner deflection. Christopher Rühr’s brilliant flick into the roof of the GB net put Germany ahead, and it was a lead that they would not surrender, with Justus Weigand and a late double from Fuchs completed a comprehensive victory.

After the game, GB head coach Danny Kerry said: “We simply weren’t at the races first half and were lucky to go in level. The second half was ironically more purposeful but a card against us killed the momentum and Germany capitalised. The step-up in level from our previous matches was the lesson we needed. We will need to take that lesson.“

Match information and statistics can be found on Olympics.com by clicking here.

 

Day 5 of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Hockey competition will feature eight matches, six of which will be in the women’s competition. In Pool A, table-toppers the Netherlands take on fifth-placed South Africa, with Great Britain facing India and Germany playing Ireland. The Pool B matches see New Zealand doing battle with Spain, Japan in action against Australia and Argentina locking horns with China. There are also two matches in Men’s Pool A, with Japan and Spain going head-to-head before the Oceania derby match between league leaders Australia and New Zealand.

The hockey competitions at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 take place from Saturday 24 July to Friday 6 August 2021. Both the men’s and women’s competitions feature 12 teams, split into two pools of six ahead of quarter-finals, semi-finals and medal matches. For more information about the hockey competitions at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, visit https://olympics.com/tokyo-2020/olympic-games/en/results/hockey/olympic-schedule-and-results.htm.

 

Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – Hockey competitions

27 July 2021 – Day 4

Results

Men’s Pool A
Argentina 2-5 Australia
India 3-0 Spain
Japan 2-2 New Zealand

Men’s Pool B
Germany 5-1 Great Britain
Belgium 9-4 South Africa

Netherlands 4-2 Canada

 

Pool standings overviews
Men: click here.
Women: click here.

 

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