Australia beat South Africa 6-0 (Half-time score 2-0)
Ace Australian player Jamie Dwyer made a hat-trick as favourites Australia decimated South Africa 6-0 in their Olympic opener on Monday. Dwyer, who scored in the 16th, 48th and 58th minutes, joined Mark Hager to become the joint highest scorer for his country.
The South Africans, the lowest-ranked team in the men's section, clearly struggled against the Kookaburras from the very beginning. The score could have been more one-sided had the Australians not missed on several occasions to get the final touch. Matthew Butturini scored off a splendid pass from Dwyer in the 33rd minute to put their sides 2-0 up. The Africans put up a better fight in the second half but two quick penalty-corner goals from Christopher Ciriello (46th minute) and Dwyer put it beyond their control. Glenn Turner completed the formalities in the 62nd minute against an exhausted opponent.
Spain drew Pakistan 1-1 (Half-time score 0-0)
Beijing silver medallists, Spain drew three-time champions Pakistan 1-1 in the second match of the day. Both teams had a shaky start and made a lot of unforced errors in the beginning. Pakistan skipper Sohail Abbas almost hit the target on a penalty-corner but missed. Spain also made some good attempts and Muhammad Irfan saved the team through a magnificent stick-save on the line.
The contest turned an absorbing in the second half. Rehan Butt scored a goal at the 46th minute but the Pakistani lead lasted less than a minute after as Pau Quemada made it 1-1 with a stunning reverse stick shot. Pakistan will be more than happy to end with a point against the fifth-ranked team. Spain received a big blow when their skipper Santiago Freixa suffered a broken arm during the match.
Great Britain beat Argentina 4-1 (1 Half-time score 1-0)
The hosts battered the Latin American side in a bruised tie. Skipper Barry Middleton opened the account in the 22nd and 42nd minutes while Dan Fox scored his first international goal in the 49th minute. Richard Smith's drag-flick expanded the lead to 4-0. Pedro Ibarra scored the consolation goal for the Argentines in the 55th minute from a corner, which was earned after a review appeal. Earlier, Matt Daly had thought of giving his side an early lead when he fished the ball out of Argentina's goalkeeper and scored but was denied a goal following a review.
Korea beat New Zealand 2-0 (Half -time score 2-0)
Both teams, close in terms of ranking and international experience, started an intense battle of possession but the Koreans were a superior side in terms of defence. The Asians scored in the 20th minute when You Hyo Sik made a superb deflection in goal from a quick free hit by Kang Moon Kyu. The stunned Black Sticks soon found their soldiers drooping and the Koreans took advantage of this and forced the pace in the final minutes of the game.
An unmarked You Hyo Sik got his second goal at the 34th minute
off a cross from the left. The Black Sticks had to work hard to
concede more goals and towards the end of the match had created
some chances but could not get them past the Korean goalkeeper.
The Netherlands beat India 3-2 (Half-time score 2-0).
The Netherlands beat India 3-2 (Half-time
Robert van der Horst, Roderick Weusthof and Mink van der Werdeen scored for the Netherlands in the 20th, 29th and 51st minutes while Dharamvir Singh and Shivendra Singh pumped in two for India. (See Report)
Germany beat Belgium 2-1 (Half-time score 1-1)
Jerome Dekeyser gave a splendid opening goal to the Red Lions just three minutes into the game and almost made it 2-0 for the Belgians when Cedric Charlier made a near-successful attempt. The defending champions drew the scores nine minutes later when Florian Fuchs netted one. The Germans created a flurry of chances thereafter but could not find the nets and the score remained 1-1 at the interval.
It was Christopher Zeller, the man who had scored in the Beijing final against Spain to win gold for his country, who made the decisive strike at the 45th minute. His effort was cleared by a referral and the Germans romped home 2-1. Tom Boon, who had an ugly injury in the first half, made a corner shot in the dying minutes but it missed the target by just a few inches.
(With FIH inputs)