The Homebush Telegraph Day 4

Wednesday, September 20, 2000

The Homebush Telegraph Day 4



Wednesday, 20.September 2000


Day 4 of the competition

Yesterdays Matches

10.30 M B Spain -Poland 1:4 (0:3)
13.30 W D Netherlands - S Africa 2:2 (2:0)
15.30 W C Australia - Spain 1:1 (1:1)
18.30 M B Argentina - Korea 2:2 (1:1)
20.30. M B Australia - India 2:2 (1:2)

Day 4 again started with a major upset. In the men's tournament, the Spanish team, characterised by its solid defence and sparkling attack did not know what happened to them at the Olympic Hockey Stadium. Their opponent, Poland, shocked them with two goals in one minute. Robert Grzeszczak (I am glad this is not radio) got one, and the other one was a spectacular solo by Piotr Mikula, who has made himself felt through defences round the world at last year's European Cup and the Olympic Qualifier in Osaka. Another goal before halftime sealed Spain's fate and Poland added a fourth just after halftime. Xavier Arnau's goal was too late to turn things around.

The Dutch women looked right on track when they went easily ahead against South Africa in the first half of their game through a penalty stroke from Ageeth Boogardt and a Minke Smabers goal. But suddenly South Africa took control of the game and came back in the last twenty minutes with goals from a Pietie Coetzee short corner and a field goal from Alison Dare to tie the game. Dutch coach Tom van't Hek explained the performance of his team with anxiety. "We played the whole game as if we were one goal down, not two up," he said.

The Australian women got into trouble next. Spain was off to a flying start and lead 1:0 from an early corner after two minutes. The Australians then took complete control of the game, and equalised through Alison Annan five minutes later. From then onwards, there was only one team playing. But Spain managed to defend their cirle, and helped by some great goalkeeping from Spanish goalie Elena Carrion closed the target of the Australians completely. Australia had eleven short corners but could not score again.

Then followed the Korean men. The Argentine side that came in only as a replacement for South Africa and virtually had no preparation played an impressive game to hold off the pressure of the hard-running Koreans. They also scored from an early penalty corner through Jorge Lombi, but Korea replied two minutes later. Then Korea went ahead in the second half through Seong-Hang Ji, but Argentina equalised five minutes later. All goals were scored from penalty corners.

The last game of the day saw the Australian men take on the Indians. 20 seconds after the start Australian goalkeeper Lachlan Dreher had to retrieve the ball from his net. Mukesh Kumar had scored a beautiful goal, and India was going at 100 miles an hour. It looked like another major upset. But Australia regained composure and in a fast exiting game in front of an almost capacity crowd Jay Stacey netted the equaliser from a corner. Before halftime, India went ahead through Baljit Singh Dillon with a beautiful corner flick. There had been several rumours that there was a now a penalty corner specialist in the Indian team, and what a way to prove that! When Craig Victory finally put in a cross from Stacey the Kookaburras looked on top, but could not convert their chances to win.

An Athlete

Every opposition team that has played against him will probably remember him. The 24-year old Polish forward, Piotr Mikula, has made his mark on many scoresheets. In the Olympic Qualifier in Osaka, he almost single handedly defeated the British team to achieve their qualification. Mikula started to play when he was six and has brother Arthur with him in the team. Two other brothers also play, but not in the national team. In 1995, he moved from his home town Gniezno, that has one artificial pitch to Poznan, which has two, to play his hockey there. In Poland, hockey is only played in one region in the central western district, and like in Spain, very much of a family game, and Piotr plays with his three brothers in the league matches. Though showing outstanding skills and goalscoring abilities, Mikula is very modest about this: " I feel happy when I score, and especially today. But it is a team effort, "he says. "I am just lucky to be there to strike."

Names and News

Mandy Nicholls, Great Britain International, is listed in the tournament's Intrasystem as the smallest player of the competition at 1, 52 m. Anyone who has seen Mandy might find that extremely hard to believe.

There have been several fire alarms already during the course of the tournament at the hockey stadium. Every time the alarm sounds, the glances rise up to the hockey family lounge to see whether Spanish umpire Santi Deo is there or not. Seeing that at Sydney due to a non-smoking policy it is prohibited to smoke in the stand, there is always the question whether he might have sneaked off to smoke a cigar somewhere quiet.

Jon Royce, Great Britain's ladies coach, has been suspended from any participation in his teams next match (v. Korea, 20/9/00). This decision, taken by Annabel dillon (Womens Technical Delegate) follows alleged crude and inappropriate language made by Mr Royce to a female doping Control Escort following the match Great Britain v Argentina.

The Olympics are the time of pin collecting like no other event. But collectors beware: The more pins you wear the more trouble you might have going through the security checks.

Today's Matches

8.30 W D Germany - China
10.30 W C Korea - Great Britain
13.30 M A Netherlands - Canada
15.30 M A Malaysia - Great Britain
18.30 W D Netherlands - New Zealand
20.30. W C Australia - Argentina

Birthday: Jenny Morris (AUS) 28

Quotes of the day

The real victory was in Osaka at the Olympic Qualifier.

Jerzy Wybieralski, coach of the Poland National Team answering the question of how important that win against Spain really was

We had 11 penalty corners, Poland had none. That shows that you can win a match without scoring from penalty corners.

Toni Forrellat, Spanish coach, after the Poland game

I do not believe in changing for changing's sake, or because it's the rule.

Indian coach, V. Baskaran, when asked why he did not interchange his players more frequently in a fast paced game

He was probably so upset about his team losing to the Australia and Argentina that he got sick and tired of people taking the piss out of his athletes.

Chip le Grand, Newslimited, commenting on the behaviour of Jon Royce