Wins for both Australian sides, England and another win for the hosts. Get a full run down on what happened on day five of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup.
Women’s Pool A: Australia 3-2 Belgium.
A third 3-2 win in succession maintained Australia’s 100% record in the competition so far with two goals coming from Jodie Kenny and another trademark penalty corner from Anna Flanagan but the Hockeyroos were some way off their best. Adam Commens’ team dominated the early going and took the lead through Flanagan’s penalty corner on 16 minutes. Belgium came back into the contest as the half wore on, having seemingly now settled into the match and on half time they levelled the scores through Stephanie De Groof.
Australia re-established the lead just three minutes after the break with another penalty corner, this time from Kenny. Belgium threw the kitchen sink at their opponents and just four minutes after falling behind; Belgium drew level with a splendid goal. Alix Gerniers threaded a pass into the D to Jill Boon who fired a great first-time finish past Rachael Lynch.
Kenny trickled home a penalty stroke to win the match in the 54th minute but the stroke, like Australia’s performance was not their most convincing. Adam Commens may not be thrilled with his side’s performance but he will be delighted at their ability to come up with the results when it matters.
Men’s Pool A: Malaysia 0-2 England
Women’s Pool A: Korea 1-1 Japan
An entertaining encounter resulted in Japan’s first points of the competition as the two sides settled for a 1-1 draw. The first half was quite an even affair with Park Mihyun’s penalty corner went just wide whilst Yuka Yoshikawa was called upon to keep out Oh Sunsoon, whilst at the other end Akake Shibata connected with fresh air when she seemed set to score. Three minutes before the break Kim Jongeun slotted home a loose ball in the D to give Korea the lead.
Japan came out well in the second half and pushed hard for an equaliser. It came two minutes after the break from a penalty corner scored by Shihori Oikawa.
Yoshikawa kept out Kim Darae and captain Park shot wide with a reverse stick shot as the two sides battled for an important second goal that never came, ensuring both sides took home one point.
Men’s Pool A: Belgium 1-3 Australia.
In one of the most anticipated clashes of the tournament so far Australia came out on top to make it three wins from three. Two goals in the opening nine minutes did the damage as Chris Ciriello beat Vincent Vanasch with a fierce drag flick in the seventh minute before two minutes later, one of the The Top of the D’s ones to watch, Jacob Whetton applied the finishing touch to Glenn Turner’s pass.
Andre Charter did well to preserve the Kookaburras’ lead with a smart stop from Thomas Briel before Australia made it 3-0 a minute after the break through Eddie Ockenden’s splendid reverse stick strike. Sebastien Dockier pulled one back from a penalty corner but Australia, and Charter, kept the Red Lions at bay to keep their winning run in tact.
Men’s Pool A: India vs Spain
Both these sides went into the side with slim hopes of making it to the semi-finals but those hopes evaporated with a point each from a 1-1 draw.
PR Sreejesh made a good save from Salvador Piera in the opening exchanges and it took a while for the opening goal to come. In the 28th minute Mandeep Singh was fouled allowing Rupinder Singh to slot home a penalty stroke to make it 1-0. The lead did not last long and Santi Freixa set up Roc Oliva who found the net from the top of the D.
Freixa played a wonderful aerial through to David Alegre who got to it before the goalkeeper, lifting it over him but agonizingly wide of the post. Alegre got clattered by Sreejesh for his troubles and left the field with injury. Both goalkeepers did well to keep out penalty corners and both teams went home with a point each, which in truth, is of little use to either in their bids to reach the semi-finals.
Women’s Pool A: New Zealand 0-2 Netherlands.
Two excellent first half goals from the Dutch, scored by Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel and Kim Lammers kept the hosts top of the group and maintained the 100% record with a strong display against New Zealand.
The Blacksticks struggled to create many chances as the Netherlands continued their domination of the other teams in their group. It took four minutes for Max Caldas’ side to take the lead. Eva De Goede’s low drag flick was deflected in from close range by Van Den Heuvel to send the home crowd wild.
Sally Rutherford was called on to keep out Ellen Hoog and Kim Lammers as well as Kelly Jonker as the home side pressed for a second. Five minutes before the break Van Den Heuvel played a cross in that Lammers brilliantly deflected past the goalkeeper for a superb goal. Joyce Sombroek in the home goal was a relative spectator, making only one save from Stacey Michelesen in the second half. Jonker struck a post and Paumen missed a great chance but the second half proved very comfortable for the Oranje who will take some stopping in this form.