Olympic hockey round-up: Pakistan beat Argentina 2-0

London, Aug 2: Here is a round-up of the men's hockey at the London Olympics on Wednesday.

See Points Tables: Women's, Men's

Pool A

Australia beat Spain 5-0 (half-time result 3-0)

Australia trounced Beijing runners-up 5-0 in another powerful performance after blowing away the South Africans 6-0 in their first match. Russel Ford made the first strike in the 9th minute when he scooped up his own rebound and put it past the Spanish goalkeeper. Matthew Butturini doubled the lead off a pass from Ford. In between, Spain lost striker Pol Amat owing to a shoulder injury, a big blow for the side has already lost its skipper Santiago Freixa who broke his arm in the match against Pakistan. Simon Orchard made it 3-0 in the 29th minute and the teams went into the break with that score.

The Aussies did not let their ruthlessness lapse even after their break and Glenn Turner (40th minute) and skipper Edward Ockenden (69th minute) completed the formalities. The Spanish were clearly lacking service of two of their key players although they put up a good show in conceding just two goals in the second half. Australia have scored 11 goals in two matches but haven't conceded any.

Great Britain drew South Africa 2-2 (The hosts were leading 1-0 at half-time)

The match started as an ordinary encounter but gained intensity with each passing minute. Ashley Jackson scored the first goal for Great Britain in the 14th minute and it remained the score till the 60th minute of the match. For the South Africans, Thornton McDade came close to draw level in the first half but could not finish the job. The closing ten minutes of the match were marked by tense moments. Austin Smith drew the scores in the 60th minute while Johnny Robinson gave the Africans a stunning lead in the 68th minute.

The hosts replaced James Fair for an extra outfield player and it paid off in the 69th minute when Jackson scored his second to assure the tense supporters at the Riverbank Arena. The South Africans protested over the equaliser but the umpire's referral ruled it out in favour of Great Britain. Great Britain even came close to a winner but Jackson failed to convert the penalty corner in the final second. This was the 100th match for British skipper Barry Middleton. South Africa though will rue the fact that they came so close to a win but yet take consolation after the disastrous opening game they had against the Australians.

Pakistan beat Argentina 2-0 (Half-time score 1-0)

The Asian powerhouse beat the Latin American side, ranked a place below them, in a superb display of raw power and drag-flicks. Muhammad Imran scored the first goal in the 30th minute while Sohail Abbas made it 2-0 in the 44th minute despite a valiant effort from Gonzalo Peillat. It was Abbas's 346th international goal. The Argentines forced a counter-attack from there on and a shot from Agustin Mazilli hit the crossbar. They also failed to convert any of the later corners and the Pakistanis earned their first win after drawing Spain in their first game.

Pool B

The Netherlands beat Belgium 2-1 (Half-time score 0-0)

The Dutch followed up their 3-2 win over India with a 2-1 victory over neighbours Belgium. Despite starting as favourites, the men in orange settled for a scoreless draw till the interval whistle went off. The Dutch got a few chances in the first half but could not convert. They drew first blood when Mink van der Weerden, the man who scored the winner against India, pumped in one penalty corner in the 43rd minute.

The Belgian Red Lions played their best hockey during this period but kept on missing the target closely. Jerome Dekeyser, the man who scored against Germany the other day, equalised in the 58th minute from a penalty corner. Weerden hit back in the 62nd minute when he found the nets in a second attempt after the first strike on a penalty corner was stopped. Weerden, thus, scored his second match-winning goal in as many matches and took his team to the top of the table. Belgium, on the other hand, are yet to register their first points in the Olympic.

New Zealand beat India 3-1 (Hal-time score 3-1)

Sandeep Singh scored for India while Andrew Hayward, Phillip Burrows and Shea McAleese scored for New Zealand (see report).

Germany beat Korea 1-0 (Half-time score 1-0)

Christopher Zeller scored his second goal of the tournament through a drag-flick in the 30th minute to earn the second win for the Germans in this Olympic. You Hyo Sik, who scored twice against the Kiwis the other day, missed converting a couple of chances and for the Germans, the two Maxes, Mueller and Weinhold particularly played a big role in negating the Korean attack.

OneIndia News

(With FIH inputs)

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