Day two at the men’s Hero Hockey Champions Trophy 2016 saw Australia and India move marginally clear at the top of the league table thanks to important victories, while Germany were forced to fight back from two goals down for the second successive day to earn a draw at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
More information on the matches can be found below.
Match 4: Germany 4, Belgium 4
Title holders and reigning Olympic champions Germany overturned a two goal deficit for the second time in two days to snatch a 4-4 draw against Belgium in a rain-affected opening match of the day.
Belgium’s Red Lions fell behind to their European rivals twice before the half time break, with Sebastian Dockier and Arthur van Doren cancelling out strikes from Germany’s Tobias Hauke and Marco Miltkau. Another four goals arrived after the half time break - which started over 30 minutes late due to a torrential rainstorm - with Belgium moving 4-2 ahead thanks to Alexandre de Paeuw and a brilliant individual effort from Florent van Aubel, who ensured his 150th international appearance was one that everyone would remember. Just when it seemed that a Red Lions victory was on the cards, Die Honamas hit back with two goals in three minutes with Miltkau grabbing his second before Oli Korn secured a second successive draw for his team.
“It was good that we got a draw in the end, coming back from two goals down is good to see and shows that we can come back”, said Germany goalkeeper Nico Jacobi, who alongside compatriot Benedikt Fürk played his 100th senior international match. “The first half was really positive ahead of our next games and in terms of our progress towards Rio. I think we are in a good way.”
Match 5: India 2, Great Britain 1
Goals from Mandeep Singh and Harmanpreet Singh earned Asian champions India a 2-1 win over home favourites Great Britain in the second match of day two.
For the second match in two days, SV Sunil turned supplier for 21-year-old Mandeep, with the former bursting down the right to supply the latter with a perfect pass for a tap-in two minutes into the second quarter. The advantage was doubled early in the third quarter by another youngster, with 20-year-old Harmanpreet Singh dispatching a penalty stroke. An Ashley Jackson penalty corner rocket reduced the deficit but it was not enough to save his side from defeat.
“I’ve been in India three years now and I hope that people see that we are improving”, said a delighted India Head Coach Roelant Oltmans. “That for me is the most important thing, that the team is getting better and in the end they showed a good performance today. We didn’t start too well, and in the first quarter we were struggling but after that we took control of the game. But overall, we saw some great performances from some young players. The team are surprising me.”
It was a special day for India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who was victorious in his 150th senior international appearance.
Match 6: Australia 4, Korea 2
Ninth-ranked Korea gave top-ranked Australia a stern test before eventually succumbing to the mighty Kookaburras, who claimed a 4-2 win to move top of the Hero Hockey World League 2016 league table on goal difference ahead of India.
Australian goals either side of half time from Blake Govers and Eddie Ockenden were cancelled out by strikes from Kim Juhun and Lee Jungjun, the latter effort being so close to the edge of the scoring circle that the Kookaburras lodged what proved to be an unsuccessful video umpire referral. However, the Australians stepped up their game in the final quarter to score twice through Trent Mitton and Glenn Turner to seal the win and move top of the table going into Sunday’s competition rest day.
“We didn’t get off to the best of starts but it started to open up after the first goal and we stuck to the game plan”, said Kookaburras striker Blake Govers. “They came back with their goal from the video referral, but at the end of the day we stuck to our guns and came away with the win.”
Regarding Australia’s chances of winning the Hero Hockey Champions Trophy 2016, the 19-year-old striker said: “We’ve been playing some really good hockey but its about putting it in the net at the other end. We are going pretty well and feeling pretty confident going into our match against Germany on Monday after the rest day.”
Tickets for the Hockey Champions Trophy 2016 events are still available and can be purchased by clicking here.