LONDON – World champion Australia routed 2008 Olympic silver medallists Spain 5-0 in men’s Olympic field hockey Wednesday.
Opening up Spain’s defense with frequent interchanges, Australia posted its second straight win to stay on top of Pool A with six points.
The Netherlands also took its points tally to six from two outings in Pool B after posting a 3-1 victory over Belgium in a tough contest where the last goal for the Dutch came in the final minute when their opponents were pressing for an equalizer and were playing without a goalkeeper.
In Pool A, Pakistan beat Argentina 2-0. In another match, New Zealand defeated India 3-1.
Australia opened the scoring in the ninth minute through Russell Ford who deflected in a ball from Mark Knowles. Matthew Butturini was on target five minutes later after creating space.
Simon Orchard’s field goal in the 29th minute gave Australia a 3-0 lead at half-time.
Glenn Turner collected a long pass on top of the circle to slam past the goalkeeper in the 40th minute and Edward Ockenden rounded off the scoring with a penalty corner conversion in the 69th minute.
Spain, who now has just one point from two matches, saw seasoned player Pol Amat going off the pitch after colliding with an Australian defender.
Amat’s injury came after Spain’s star striker, Santi Freixa, suffered a fracture in the last match against Pakistan. Freixa has been ruled out of the tournament and replaced on the Spanish team roster.
Mink van der Weerden converted two penalty corners for the Netherlands against Belgium.
After a goalless first half, he score seven minutes into the second session, but Belgium equalized with a penalty corner goal of its own by Jerome Dekeyser in the 58th minute.
Van der Weerden’s second goal, four minutes later, put the Dutch ahead again, but they came under sustained pressure as Belgium opted for all-out attack, even taking their goalkeeper off the pitch.
The Dutch got their third goal with just 17 seconds left on the clock when Felix Denayer shot into an open goal on a breakaway move. — AFP