World Cup 2014: Day Two Round-Up.

The second day of the Rabobank World Cup drew to a close with some impressive displays from the USa, Germany, Argentina and the Netherlands. Read on for a summary of the day’s matches. 

Men’s Pool B: Germany 4-0 South Africa.
Germany got their campaign off to a great start with an impressive display to see off South Africa. Two goals in each half did the damage although South Africa’s first half display caused the Germans some problems. Had it not been for the excellence of Nicolas Jacobi in goal, South Africa could easily have been two up before the Germans had registered a shot. The No1 was out well to block from Jean Pierre de Voux   and then produced an even better piece of goalkeeping, dashing from his line to deny Clinton Panther. It had looked like South Africa would get to the break on level terms, despite Germany’s dominance of possession. However with eight minutes left in the half Timothy Drummond flattened Christopher Zeller and conceded a penalty stroke. Zeller buried the chance and then on the stroke of half time Thilo Stralkowski made it 2-0.

Germany controlled the second half, knowing that South Africa would have to push on to get something from the game. Their ball retention was excellent as they waited for the gaps to appear as Fabian Gregory’s side tired. With 14 minutes left on the clock, they scored a splendid third goal. Martin Zwicker fed Mats Grambusch who let the ball come across him before finding the far corner with an unerring finish. Oliver Korn forced home a fourth goal after some outstanding individual skills from Christopher Ruhr and that was that.

Women’s Pool B: England vs USA.

Full Report here.

Women’s Pool B; Germany 1-1 China.
Germany and China played out a 1-1 draw in a contest that took some time to get going. Both goals came in the space of a minute as Jamilon Mulders’ side took the lead in the 60th minute only to be pegged back a minute later by Yang Peng’s superb solo goal.

China had the first opportunity to take the lead. Mengyu Wang fired a low penalty corner in but Barbara Vogel in goal made a splendid save diving to her right. At the other end Tina Bachmann was unlucky not to give the Germans the lead as her penalty corner beat the goalkeeper but crashed against the post and out. China frustrated Germany, sitting deep and trying to hit them with aerial and long passes out of the back, whilst remaining compact and hard to break down.

Lydia Haase had a good chance from a slipped penalty corner but could only pick out the goalkeeper and it looked like it would end goalless. With ten minutes remaining Germany finally broke the deadlock. Bachmann’s penalty corner was saved by the goalkeeper but Hannah Kruger followed in and despatched the chance with aplomb. The lead lasted just a minute and Peng showed good strength to shrug off the defender, breaking into the d on the right before finding the far corner with an excellent strike, ensuring both sides took home a point each.

Men’s Pool B: Netherlands 3-1 Argentina.
Having seen the women blow away Japan yesterday it was the turn of the Dutch men, today and they did not disappoint a large crowd in the Kyocera stadium. Despite a stubborn display from the Argentines, goals from Valentin Verga, Mink van der Weerden and Rogier Hofman were enough to get the hosts off to a perfect start.

Hofman thought he’d scored the opener in the second minute but his bullet shot cannoned back off the bar and out to safety. Van Der Weerden was denied by a smart stop from Juan Manuel Vivaldi but the goal was coming. On 26 minutes it arrived. Van Der Weerden’s long pass was touched in by Verga and the goal was given after Umpire Hamish Jamson checked with the video umpire. Eight minutes later, Argentina were level. Gonzalo Pelliat sneaked a low drag flick past Jaap Stockmann and the player on the line and it was all square. Paul van Ass’ side played some lovely flowing hockey and were swarming all over Argentina, pouring forward looking for the second goal. It came from a trademark Van Der Weerden rocket that no one would have been able to save. Hofman made the game safe on 49 minutes, seizing on a loose ball after a good advantage from the umpire and the big crowd went home happy.

Men’s Pool B: New Zealand 2-1 Korea.
New Zealand got their campaign off to a winning start with a goal after 11 seconds and then a winner in the last minute but it was far from an easy ride against a tough Korean side. The Blacksticks took the lead from the first play of the match a flowing move down the right resulted in Marcus Child crossing for Steve Edwards who finished confidently giving his side a dream start.

Korea had their chances to equalise. Jonghyun Jang stung Devon Manchester’s gloves with a penalty corner and then he crashed a penalty stroke against the crossbar with 15 minutes remaining. Hyosik You hit the post with a shot off the backhand and it looked like Korea would not be able to break the Kiwis down. With six minutes remaining Seongkyu Kim latched onto a loose ball in the D and slapped home the equaliser.

It looked like the spoils were going to be shared but with seconds remaining on the clock Phil Burrows slammed home the rebound from Kane Russell’s penalty corner to break Korean hearts. It looked the ball had not left the D from the penalty corner injection but Korea had no referrals left and so could not challenge the decision.

Women’s Pool B: Argentina 4-1 South Africa.
Argentina opened their campaign with a dominant display against South Africa. They dominated possession throughout and forced a large number of penalty corners. Giles Bonnet’s side defended bravely and kept their opponents out until ten minutes before the break but once Silvina D’Elia’s straight strike beat Anelle Vandeventer low to her right. Two minutes later D’Elia repeated the trick although the goalkeeper will be disappointed as she allowed the strike to slip through her legs to make it 2-0.

Argentina continued to dominate and five minutes after the break Noel Barrionuevo slotted home a penalty corner before Delfina Merino benefitted from another goalkeeping mishap, as Vandeventer left enough of a gap for the ball to squeeze between her body and the post for the fourth goal. South Africa pulled one back a minute later as Tarryn Bright produced a lovely finish to find the roof the net from a bouncing cross but it was too little, too late.

More World Cup coverage will follow in the coming days, including quotes and a round up of the latest action.

About thetopofthed

Columnist for The Hockey Paper and the man behind The Top of the D. Writer, podcaster, goalkeeper and BBC Sport man. Used to work for Great Britain Hockey and have covered the sport at every major tournament.
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