Germans keeps hopes alive, Dutch and Aussies share points

August 17th, 2008 - 11:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 17 (DPA) World champions Germany, spluttering at the start of the Olympic men’s hockey competition, won when it mattered to keep their semi-final chances alive, beating pool A leaders Spain 1-0 Sunday. The win, from a 34th-minute Moritz Fuerste field goal, left the Germans a point behind the Spaniards and one ahead of third-placed New Zealand, who were held to a draw by China.

Australia and the Netherlands meanwhile secured their joint domination of Pool B with a 2-2 draw, leaving the Aussies favourites to top the pool after Tuesday’s final games, owing to superior goal difference.

Penalty corner specialist Taeke Taekema struck twice for the Dutch while Eddie Ockenden and Luke Doerner struck for Australia, all the goals coming in the second half.

In the earlier matches, Great Britain and Pakistan saw their medal hopes finally extinguished in Pool B.

Pakistan produced their second tournament win too late, beating South Africa 3-1, while Great Britain drew 1-1 with Canada in a match they needed to win to stay in semi-finals contention.

Canada grabbed their first point of the tournament in the draw, with Ken Pereira’s 47th-minute goal promising victory until Matt Daly’s late 67th-minute equaliser.

That left Great Britain third in group on seven points, but with a goal difference far below either Australia’s or the Netherlands, both on 10.

Muhammad Javed, Shakeel Abassi and - from the penalty spot - Muhammad Saqlain scored for Pakistan’s second win of the tournament, while South Africa’s goal came from Austin Smith off a penalty corner.

In the early pool A matches, South Korea came back from a goal down to beat Belgium 3-1 and keep their semi-final hopes alive, one point behind Germany, while China and New Zealand drew 2-2.

Jerome Dekeyser put Belgium ahead before the break, but two field goals from You Hyu Sik and a penalty corner goal from Jang Jong Hyun brought victory for the South Koreans.

China were 2-1 up at the break against New Zealand thanks to penalty corner goals from their captain Song Yi. Shea McAleese grabbed the second-half equaliser after Simon Child’s opener for the Kiwis, who can still reach the semi-finals by beating Germany.

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