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Holland too good for South Africa
March 02, 2004 21:53 IST
Defending Olympic champions The Netherlands began their campaign in the men's hockey Olympic qualifier with an easy 5-1 victory over South Africa in Madrid on Tuesday.
The Dutch were stunned in the first minute as they conceded a goal when South African forward Emile Smith deflected into goal a free-hit from Lain Evans.
Poland stun Britain
In the second match of the day's programme, Poland upset Britain 2-1 in Pool A,
After a goalless first-half, the Poles took the lead in the 45th minute when Tomasz Choczaj sounded the board from a swift counter-attack.
Britain, the 1988 Olympic champions, equalised in the 62nd minute when Danny Hall converted a penalty-corner.
But Poland retaliated in kind three minutes from the close through Tomasz Dutkiewicz's penalty-corner conversion to emerge triumphant.
Britain, who had beaten Pakistan 3-2 in a practice game in Madrid last week, were expected to come up with a better showing, just did not posses the firepower to get past a tight marking Polish defence.
New Zealand beat Malaysia
A third-minute penalty corner goal by Phillip Burrows enabled New Zealand pull off a 1-0 win over Malaysia in their opening Pool B game.
The Malaysians appeared unsettled after conceding the early goal and with their forwards not able to create any impression on the Kiwi goal never recovered.
The Kiwis, overall, played decidedly better and the margin of victory did not accurately indicate their superiority.
An obviously dejected Malaysian coach Paul Lissek of Germany, said, "I thought we had more chances to score, but missed them. The first match is always important and I am sad that we lost, but I have no excuses to offer."
Regarding the cold weather conditions, Lissek said it was the same for both the teams.
"No, the cold did not affect our players, but it is just that despite playing well, we lost because we did not utilise our chances."