Argentina drew with Australia 2-2 (Half-time score: 0-2)
Australia's ruthless pace was slowed down a bit by Argentina after they came back from 0-2 behind to draw the match. The Kookaburras had the game under control till around half-time but wasted too many opportunities in the later half to register a third win after blowing up South Africa and Spain. Both the teams peaked up their games gradually and Argentina almost scored from a penalty-corner earned after a counter-attack. It was enough of a wake-up call for the Oz and the Matthew Butturini scored off a penalty-corner in the 12th minute. They took control of the midfield thereafter.
The Aussies continued to target the Argentine goal, giving Juan Manuel Vivaldi a tough time, but they smashed the second goal with just a few seconds left for the interval whistle to go. Jamie Dwyer made it 2-0 after scoring his fourth goal in the tournament. The Latin American side started afresh after the break and Matias Vila reduced the gap in the 47th minute. This goal, the first the Kookaburras conceded in this tournament, made a difference in the remaining part of the match. Australia missed too many chances in this period while a more organised Argentina levelled the scores after Gonzalo Peillat converted a penalty-corner in the dying minutes. The concluding minutes were quite heated up with a few green and yellow cards being handed out. Argentina earned their first point in the tournament after the losses against Great Britain and Pakistan.
Great Britain beat Pakistan 4-1 (Half-time score: 2-0)
Great Britain made a crucial move towards the semi-finals by condemning Pakistan to a 4-1 defeat and Ashley Jackson produced a great display in the match to destroy the three-time gold-winners. James Tindall scored the opening goal in the 4th minute off a cross-pass from Harry Martin. Jackson came close to score a second goal a minute later but was prevented by Rashid Mehmood. A controversy during this period saw the Pakistani skipper, Sohail Abbas join Muhammad Yunus on the sideline after it was found that Yunus remained on the turf despite being shown the green card.
Jonty Clarke scored from a superb opportunity created by Jackson and the hosts were 2-0 up in the 26th minute. After the break, the Pakistanis retaliated but it was Great Britain's day. The brilliant Jackson scored from two penalty-corner flicks in the 50th and 67th minutes and it was left for Pakistan to salvage some pride. Sohail Abbas pulled one back when he scored his 347th international goal in the ending minute. Pakistan, however, failed to convert their chances earlier in the second half. The Asians will have to pull up their socks in the remaining two games to make the final four.
Spain beat South Africa 3-2 (half-time score: 1-1)
Spain kept their semi-final hopes alive after the humiliation they faced against Australia the other day. Friday's encounter was an absorbing one with neither sides ready to give up without a fight. The South Africans made the first strike though Justin Reid-Ross in the 26th minute but Marc Salles levelled the scores just four minutes later. It was a brilliant performance by the Beijing runners-up for they are already a depleted side following the injury to Santi Freixa and Pol Amat in the previous matches. Sergi Enrique's suspension complicated things further for them.
In the second half, Spain went ahead after Pau Quemada scored off a pass from Carlos Ballbe. Miguel Dellas scored the third goal in the 55th minute after sliding onto a corner and it looked Spain was certain to earn their first victory. A referral was sought for the third goal but it went in Spain's favour. Llyod Norris-Jones pulled one back after scoring off a pass from Ian Haley.
The Netherlands beat New Zealand 5-1 (Half-time score: 3-1)
The Kiwis, fresh from their 3-1 win against India, looked to be in a good touch in the beginning. They pumped in the first goal in the fifth minute through Simon Child. But it was enough to provoke a massive Dutch retaliation as they replied with five goals. Sander De Wijn thought he had equalised when he deflected a shot from Teun De Nooijer but the effort was turned down by the video-referral. However, it was Roderick Weusthof who made it 1-1 in the 16th minute and Mink van der Weerden converted a penalty-stroke eleven minutes later. Billy Bakker deflected a shot by Rogier Hoffman to make it 3-1 in the 29th minute.
The Dutch were close to make it 4-1 in the dying minutes of the first half when they got another penalty-corner. After the break, Stephen Jenness got a couple of opportunities to bring the Black Sticks back into the match but missed out. Billy Bakker scored the fourth goal for Holland in the 56th match while Robber Kempermann scored the final goal in the 67th minute. The Netherlands are certain for the semi-finals with three consecutive wins.
Germany beat India 5-2 (Half-time score: 4-1)
Florian Fuchs scored three goals, while Oliver Korn and Christopher Wesley scored one each for the Germans. VR Raghunath and Tushar Khendker were the scorers for India. Three straight losses put India out of medal contention. (See report)
Belgium beat Korea 2-1 (Half-time score: 0-0)
Belgium stunned the Koreans to register their first win at the London Olympics. The first-half ended goalless although Jerome Deckeyser came close to scoring. But the match had much excitement to offer in the second half. Tom Boon put Belgium ahead just a minute or so into the second half and the Koreans tied the scores nine minutes later through a low-corner drive. The Koreans will rue for having failed to capitalise on a number of corners they got in the second half. Cedric Charlier, however, did not let go his opportunity and scored a dashing goal in the 61st minute, which left the Belgian fans elated. Minutes before Charlier's goal, Alexandre de Saedeleer made a good effort but could not score.
The Koreans made a dash at the Belgian defence and the European goalkeeper was put under great pressure. The encounter turned heated towards the end with three yellow cards being handed out. Oh Dae Keun played his 100th match on Friday.
(With FIH inputs)