Day three of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague Netherlands opened with Pool A’s Australia and Spain. The Kookaburras got three goals in the opening half over Spain to earn their second-straight victory. England earned their first three points thanks to a late goal to send them up 2-1 over India. The final game of the day saw a sensational effort from striker Tom Boon who lifted the Red Lions up 6-2 over Malaysia with four outstanding goals
MEN POOL A: Australia v Spain 3-0 (3-0)
Australia made it two out of two with a 3-0 victory over Spain: the pool A match providing a masterclass in fast, skillful hockey. The tempo and mood of the game was set from the whistle as Rob Hammond picked up a loose ball, jinked his way past the Spanish defence and found his teammate, Timothy Deavin (2′), who put the ball away with aplomb. The subsequent goal celebration – which Deavin explained away with a sheepish “well I don’t score very often” – marked the start of a combative game between the two hockey nations.
MEN Pool A: England v India 2-1 (1-1)
India’s last minute curse continues to haunt them as England snatched victory through a Simon Mantell goal with just 75 seconds left on the clock. The match looked to be heading towards a 1-1 draw as play from both teams veered between brilliant and pedestrian. India were the livelier going forwards but England’s defence was resolute and while India always threatened to score the spectacular goal, in fact they were forced to take shots that were either wide, high or easy for goalkeeper George Pinner to deal with.
MEN Pool A: Malaysia v Belgium 2-6 (2-3)
Tom Boon showed exactly why he is rated as one of the finest strikers in world hockey by scoring four times to help Belgium’s Red Lions storm to a 6-2 triumph over Pool A rivals Malaysia. The Malaysians found themselves ahead on two occasions in the contest, but Boon netted a first half hat-trick before grabbing a fourth either side of goals from Tanguy Cosyns and John-John Dohmen to take victory in arguably the most entertaining match played so far at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup.
On the Women’s side, a wrap-up of day three for the women at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.
Up first the Hockeyroos downed Japan 3-2 in a thriller match, while a stunning deflection by Kim Darae gave Korea the 1-0 edge over New Zealand. In the final game of the day the Netherlands tallied twice in each half to drop Belgium 4-0.
WOMEN POOL A Australia v Japan 3-2 (1-1)
Anna Flanagan took her tournament scoring haul to four goals in two matches as Australia claimed their second successive Pool A victory thanks to terrific but hard-earned 3-2 triumph over Japan. Flanagan’s two penalty corners came either side of a wonderful diving effort from Emily Smith, and helped the Oceania Champions come from behind against the Continental Champions of Asia. The Hockeyroos – who were missing inspirational captain Madonna Blyth for the second successive match as she continues her recover from a calf strain – dominated the early exchanges but found themselves frustrated by tireless defensive work from their Japanese opponents.
WOMEN POOL A Korea v New Zealand 1-0 (1-0)
A sensational strike from Kim Darae gave underdogs Korea a 1-0 triumph over New Zealand’s Black Sticks in an exciting Pool A encounter in the Greenfields Stadium. Kim’s angled deflection in the 30th minute, which rocketed into the net via the bar and the post, was enough to settle the contest as the world number 8 overcame a team that sits three places above them in the FIH World Rankings. The result gave Korea their first points of the tournament, drawing them level on points with the Black Sticks after two matches each.
WOMEN POOL A Netherlands v Belgium 4-0 (2-0)
A sparkling team display rather than any individual standout performance was at the heart of the Netherlands 4-0 victory over near neighbours Belgium. While Red Panthers goalkeeper Aisling D’Hooghe will be disappointed to have seen the ball in the back of her net four times, she will take some consolation that were it not for her acrobatics the scoreline would have been greater.
For schedules, scores, video highlights, photos and more visit rabobankhockeyworldcup2014.com
Photograph: Belgium celebrates Boon’s 4th goal (FIH/Frank Uijlenbroek (c))