The Homebush Telegraph Day 8

Sunday, September 24, 2000

The Homebush Telegraph Day 8

THE HOMEBUSH TELEGRAPH

THE DAILY FIH NEWSLETTER FROM SYDNEY

Sunday, 24.September 2000

MORE SURPRISES AS SEMI FINAL POSITIONS GO TO THE WIRE

Day 8 of the competition

Yesterday's matches:

13.30 pm M A Malaysia - Pakistan 2:2 (1:1)
15.30 pm M B Spain - India 2:3 (1:2)
18.30 pm M B Australia - Argentina 2:1(0:0)
20.30 pm M A Netherlands -Germany 2:2 (2:2)

Enjoying a late start the first game of the day provided another big surprise. Pakistan, on five points after three games, could have put itself on top of pool B with a victory over Malaysia. Yet, it never looked like this was going to happen easily. Instead Malaysia took control of the game and were leading twice, only to be caught by an Abbas-corner thirty-five seconds before the end.

The next match brought the unthinkable. Spain had to win to keep any chances alive for a semi-final spot, and for India a win would be a huge step in the same direction. Baljit Singh Dhillon trashed the Spanish hopes of any medal chances that had been jeopardised by their poor performance against Poland. He converted a stroke in the first half and a corner in the second to put his side in the running for a semi-final spot and kill the Spanish aspirations for Olympic glory.

Australia fought a hard battle against Argentina, a team that basically came here without any preparation, replacing South Africa at the last minute. The Kookaburras played against one man: Mariano Chao, the Argentine goalie, who saved 19 shots on his goal in the course of the game. Only two corners could beat him, and Australia took the points to remain leader of pool B on 8 points.

The game between Holland and Germany had the potential to put one of these two sides prematurely into the semi-final, and it looked very much as if it was going to be the Ducth who would be there. Stephan Veen converted a penalty stroke and Teun de Noijer made it 2:0 after 20 minutes with a well-timed reverse stick shot that beat German keeper Christopher Reitz. But then Germany came back five minutes before halftime and with two deflections from Bjoern Michel and Uli Moissl made it 2:2 before the break. The second half saw Germany have a little more of the game but the Netherlands with the best chance, but Marten Eikelbooms push hit the post. Shortly before the end Dutch Goalie Ronald Jansen had to make sure the score stayed that way with a great save after a shot from Christoph Bechmann.

POOL STANDINGS

Pool A

1 . Netherlands 4 2 2 0 11 6 5 8
2. Germany 4 2 2 0 6 4 2 8
3. Pakistan 4 1 3 0 13 6 7 6
4. Malaysia 4 0 3 1 4 5 -1 3
5. Canada 3 0 1 2 5 9 -4 1
6. Great Britain 3 0 1 2 5 14 -9 1

Pool B

1. Australia 4 2 2 0 10 5 5 8
2. India 4 2 1 1 8 6 2 7
3. Korea 3 1 2 0 5 3 2 5
4. Poland 3 1 1 1 9 10 -1 4
5. Argentina 4 0 2 2 8 12 -4 2
6. Spain 4 0 2 2 6 10 -4 2

An Athlete

When Spain were 3:2 down in yesterday's game against India there is one man in the Spanish team who has to leave the field to make room for another attacker. He never leaves it usually during play, rarely gets a card, and was the first one after the defeat to focus his team's attention on the task that lies ahead of them now. He is the oldest player in the tournament and has been captain of his side for numerous years. Already announcing his retirement after the 1998 World Cup when Spain finished second he was persuaded to add another "big one" to his playing career. After Sydney he thinks it is time for him to step aside and give younger players a chance. This is his last international appearance. He had hoped it would be another gold medal game, but here it just was not to be for Joaquin Malgosa.


Names and News

The media centre is well equipped, with info system terminals, television and plenty of work space for the press. But there is also the time zones for overseas journalists, with important world times on them for Sydney, Tokyo, New York and London. Whoever thought of that was not aware that there are other more important spots in the empire. Luckily, FIH Media Officer Nick Irvine is on the ball, and changed the subtitle of the London clock to the much more important location of Milton Keynes. However, it is not possible to keep any track of the Australian time zones because there would just be too much confusion. Sydney and New South Wales changed their time to daylight saving for the Olympics, however somewhere around Broken Hill which is also in New South Wales they did not because the farm animals get confused. Queensland stayed on the old time, with Victoria changing as well. Now, in the Northern Territory….

In this publication we have warned a few times about travelling on the media busses. Here is the next chapter of the transport story. The editor, having heard all the stories about media transport decided on a cab trip this morning. Australian taxi drivers never have a very good reputation, but nevertheless I decided to be brave. It is said they do not know where they are going and like bus drivers would get lost. My cab driver certainly had no problem with that. But it was all a different story. We drove about five meters when he found out that we had a flat tyre. The cab driver changed it and we got on our way. So you make your own choice of transport.

The match schedule at the hockey has been so tight that there has rarely been any time to eat for the journalists working. There are a few food places round the spectator side and one outlet and several vending machines here on this side, but during the first days there was just no time to get something. With the routine settling in, and people bringing their own supply, the situation has changed to the other extreme. As Claire Middleton of the Daily Telegraph put it: "At first I thought I would go home looking like a gymnast, but now it looks more likely it will be looking like a weightlifter."

The spectator interest in the hockey tournament has been huge. The players have already mentioned again and again how delighted they are with the support they are getting from the crowd, regardless of whether they are from their home countries or not.. With hockey being in the main venue area of the Olympic Games for the first time since 1972, spectator interest has been fantastic. The only tickets left are for Monday and Tuesday, the rest is sold out.

Nova Peris-Kneebone got through to the semi-finals at the 400m at the athletics yesterday with a time of 51.28. She said after her run: "When I was coming down home straight the crowd was just great., and I was wrapt.." She says that she sees the hockey girls play and still feels very much part of them but to be out there in track and field is just a childhood dream come true. Good luck for the semis, Nova!

Todays Matches

11 am WMP Spain - China
14 pm WMP Argentina - Netherlands
16 pm WMP Australia - New Zealand
19 pm M A Great Britain - Canada
21 pm M B Poland - Korea


Quotes of the day

Fantastic Sport - I can't believe I have wasted 35 years in hockey!

Nick Irvine on women's Beach Volleyball

Should be banned as an Olympic Sport. Vulgar exploitation of men.

Nick Irvine on men's Beach Volleyball

99% of the morning games are a huge shock..

Michelangelo Rucci, during the Pakistan game

Probably twenty years ago. I haven't got it in my head. I have it on my computer.

Patrick Rowley admitting he isn't perfect after the question when Malaysia last beat Pakistan

No, I think it is 11 vs 11.

Pakistan manager Islahuddin on Nick Irvine's announcement that it looks like being Lomanss vs Abbas in the next game

I can say that it is all in the game. Sometimes you are going to win and sometimes you are going to lose.

Islah answering the question how he tells in the morning whether it is a day on which Pakistan can beat any team in the world or lose to any team in the world

If there is a miracle then that will be all right.

Islah again on the question which chances he sees for Pakistan to reach the semi-final after drawing with Malaysia

The FIH Golden Whistle Awards will be presented by FIH President Juan Angel Calzado today at 6.15 pm in the Olympic Family Lounge.

ends