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FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup: Germany, Argentina make winning start while China and NZ play a 2-2 draw

It was a day of penalty corner goals. Argentina scored all its four goals from penalty corners.

The South American powerhouse in hockey, Argentina, and two-time former Champion Germany made a winning start in the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup on Saturday. While Germany defeated Chile 4-1, Argentina defeated Korea 4-0. In the third match of day 2 of the mega event saw New Zealand and China splitting points with a 2-2 draw.

It was a day of penalty corner goals. Argentina scored all its four goals from penalty corners. In the Germany Chile game, three of the five goals came from penalty corners and in the match between New Zealand and China, both the goals for the Asian team came from penalty corners.

Since New Zealand was returning to competitive hockey after keeping itself away from international games except for playing its traditional neighbor and rival Australia, it took some time to settle against fast improving China. China had recorded a win against a makeshift Germany in one of its last games in the FIH Pro League that concluded last week.

China matched its opponents in all departments  of the game. It, however, enjoyed a slight supremacy in penalty corner conversions. The Chinese have a dependable striker  in Bingfeng Gu who scored the second goal for her team against the Kiwis today.

New Zealand had taken the lead following a good move. It saw Rose Tynan giving final touches to a well worked move in the 24th minute. Three minutes int the second half, China restored parity through  Ying Zhang who made no mistake with a penalty corner award. Ten minutes later Bingfeng Gu put China ahead with a brilliant flick. Stung by the reverse, Black sticks were all over their  opponent’s territory and succeeded in getting the equalizer with another field goal, this time the scorer was Olivia Merry.

Argentina started as if it was in a hurry to wrap up the match quickly. With a goal from its first penalty corner in the second minute, Argentine took the lead  through Augustine Gorzelanny. She followed it up with yet another penalty corner conversion in the 28th minute. And just before the teams broke for lemon break, the South Americans and former Olympic champions added yet another goal. This time also it followed a penalty corner. The scorer was Victoria Granatta.

Undeterred by the 0-3 lead, the Koreans tried  to make a match of the game with an improved performance in the second half. They not only restricted their powerful opponents, who were recently crowned the FIH Pro League champions, to one goal in the second half, but also came close to reducing the margin. The fourth goal for Argentina again followed a penalty corner. The scorer this time was Julieta Jankunas. It came in the 39th minute.

The game afterwards saw some good moves from both sides, but no more goals were scored.

Germany took its opening game to make its intentions of being a contender for podium finish obvious. Though the Germans conceded a penalty corner before the end of first half, its supremacy was never in doubt against Chile.

Germany took the lead in the ninth minute following a penalty corner. It was Pauline Heinz who opened the scoring. After conceding the lead, Chile put up a brave front defying the Germans any further good out at its goal till the 22nd minute when unstoppable Charlotte Stapenhorst, one of the best forwards in contemporary hockey, surprised the Chilean defence with a brilliant field goal.

Chile, however, had the consolation of scoring its first World Cup goal through Denise Krimerman Lasoda who scored from a penalty corner in the 27th minute. Chile is playing its first ever Women’s World Cup.

Leading 2-1 at the breather, Germany came back strongly in the second half to score two more goals. The first of these came in the 44th minute when Anne Schroder scored from a penalty corner. And finally, it was Charlotte Stapenhorst who rounded up the tally with a brilliant field goal.

 

Prabhjot Singh