Britain ease past India
May 3, 2012 21:16 pm
Great Britain's men set up a must-win clash with Australia on Saturday to reach the final of the International Invitational hockey tournament after defeating a poor India side 4-2.
The hosts found themselves 2-0 up inside 11 minutes as their opponents left gaping holes in their defence. Surbiton forward Rob Moore fired in a reverse-stick shot from the top of the circle before Simon Mantell's run and cross-shot was deflected in by Sandeep Singh.
VR Raghunath pulled one back before Ashley Jackson scored twice in three minutes, touching in Ben Hawes' long ball and then converting from close range. Sandeep atoned for his earlier error by converting a penalty corner just before the hour, but GB's dominance was never threatened as they registered their first win of the competition.
World number ones Australia, defeated 3-2 by Germany, now stand in their way of an appearance in Sunday's final at the Riverbank Arena in Olympic Park.
"It is great to win, of course it is," coach Jason Lee said. "We wouldn't score those four goals again but our performances are improving and hopefully that bodes well for the summer.
"We did look sluggish and in the second half we stopped showing for the ball and we had some great opportunities to play through them if we just had a few more people feeling like they could deliver."
Great Britain's women booked their place in the final with a 3-0 win over Beijing Olympic silver medallists China. Leicester defender Crista Cullen scored a sixth-minute penalty corner, but it was not until Susie Gilbert added the second two minutes before time that the result was put beyond doubt. Cullen made totally sure with a second set-piece in overtime.
Goalkeeper Beth Storry was barely troubled, saving one corner from Mengyu Wang late in the first half and denying Qingling Song after she mishit a close-range reverse-stick shot just past the hour.
"My poor little heart can't take having all that possession and dominance and only being 1-0 up," coach Danny Kerry said of his side's late goals.
They now face second-placed Argentina, who were held to a goalless draw by Korea.
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