World CupSunday, June 1, 2014
Both Argentine teams play today
The men’s and women’s World Cup started yesterday with pools A matches with the women’s Dutch team beating Japan 6-1 in the opening day. Both Argentine teams play today. Defending champion the Leonas face South Africa while the men play the Netherlands.
THE HAGUE — Women’s title favourites Netherlands had an easy start on the first day of the World Cups yesterday by beating Japan 6-1. Already leading 3-0 at the half, they put on more pressure in the second half and only seemed to take it more easily in the last 20 minutes although their Argentine coach Maximiliano Caldas — who is getting fatter — continually gestured them forward. While Kelly Jonker (3), Maartje Paumen (2), with one penalty corner and one penalty, and Ellen Hoog (1) scored the Dutch goals, Akane Shibata pulled one back for Japan, scoring the last with five minutes to go. Netherlands missed a lot of other chances, but they are sure to encounter better goalkeepers and better defences.
Although the more experienced Netherlands team did most of the attacking, they only forced two penalty corners against one. Japan could not exploit any Dutch weak points — ift there are any. Caldas has a lot of talent at his disposal and he said his hardest job was to pick the final 18-player squad.
On a day of mostly close matches, Belgium’s women and men were the surprise as obviously the country has gone up in the hockey world. The women were losing 4-0 to Australia until 44 minutes and then suddenly came back to score three goals and almost equalize. Then the men beat India 3-2 in even play.
England men drew 1-1 with Spain with England scoring early and playing better, but in the second half Spain equalized early and were more on top — a fair result therefore.
None of Argentina’s group B rivals were playing yesterday as the two groups play on alternate days. Today, the men play Netherlands while the women face South Africa in the last game of the day. Six games — three each women and men — are played per day and the top two off each group qualify for the semifinals while other teams play for lower places.
The noise in the stadium and the music was defeaning with a lot spectators also blowing those horns as in South Africa during the 2010 soccer World Cup. It was hardly any use to have announcers as one could not hear them anyway.
In the women’s section, Argentina’s Luciana Aymar has most caps (366) and is also the oldest player at 36. The youngest is Belgium’s Emillie Puvrez at only 16. Among the men, Argentina’s Matías Paredes has most caps (249), the oldest Rosian Jamaluddin of Malaysia at 35 and the youngest Arthur Van Doren of Belgium at 19.