Sport

US shock Argentina in women's hockey

Wednesday, August 01, 2012    

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LONDON, England (AFP) — Shannon Taylor's goal saw the United States to a shock 1-0 victory over world champions Argentina in the Olympic women's hockey tournament yesterday.

This win saw the US repeat their Pan American Games final victory against world-ranked number two Argentina and stay in contention for a semi-final berth out of Pool B.

Both Argentina and the USA now have three points from two matches.

New Zealand lead the group with six points from two games after a 4-1 victory over South Africa, who have now conceded 11 goals.

Yesterday's play ended with Australia defeating Germany 3-1.

Germany opened the scoring through Katharina Otte in the ninth minute, but Australia hit back with goals from Hope Munro, Anna Flanagan and Fiona Boyce.

Four teams — Argentina, Australia, Germany, and USA — are now tied on three points each behind New Zealand

Defending champions the Netherlands and hosts Great Britain both staggered to victories over Asian opponents after conceding late goals in Pool A play.

The Dutch beat Japan 3-2 and Britain were 5-3 winners over South Korea for their second straight victories to lead the pool table with six points each.

In another Pool A match, 2008 Olympic silver medallists China were held to a goalless draw by Belgium.

Taylor's open field goal in the 28th minute gave the US the lead, but they had to stave off sustained Argentine pressure in the last 15 minutes.

"After losing our first match, we went out for a win to keep alive our hopes of making the semi-finals," said US captain Laureen Crandall.

"We knew we had the ability to win again. And we were fortunate not to have conceded the equaliser during the last 15 minutes," Crandall added.

Lee Bodimeade, the US coach, added: "The Pan American Games victory made us believe we can match the best teams in the world and get positive results."

Argentina's captain, Luciana Aymar conceded this defeat was a big blow for her side.

"The US team plays a very physical game. It is a style we do not like," said Aymar, a multiple world Player-of-the-year winner.

"We need to forget this game and produce a better show in the remaining three group matches.

As in their previous game, Britain's victory came at the cost of an injury to a key player.

Kate Walsh, the hosts' captain, is in hospital after having a titanium plate fitted to her jaw following an accidental clash during the first match.

Yesterday, star striker Alex Danson was carried off on a stretcher due to an ankle injury, but it is not thought to be as severe as Walsh's setback.

Britain led twice before South Korea pegged them back to 3-3 with 13 minutes remaining. Britain then stepped up the pace to score twice in a minute and finished with five goals against South Korea for the first time.

On a rainy morning the Dutch, almost casually, built up a 3-0 lead by the 43rd minute, and then conceded two in the next 10, to set up a tense finish.

Kim Lammers scored twice and set up her team's third for Ellen Hoog.

Japan's goals came from Rika Komazawa and Aki Mitsuhashi, but the equaliser proved elusive.

"It was a game of two extremes. It was too extreme for me, it was very good and very bad," said Max Caldas, an Argentine coaching the Dutch team.

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