South Korea Only Winners On Opening Day Of Hero Champions Trophy


South Korea shocked Belgium 2-0 on the opening day of the 2016 Hero Champions Trophy at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre in London.

The Koreans came into this tournament after winning the 2014 Hockey Champions Challenge I, which guaranteed them a spot here.

Goals from Yang Jihun and Jung Manjae in either half help the lower ranked side take the points and top the standings after the first day. That’s because both the day’s other games ended in draws.

“Before the match, we were a little bit worried, as we have so many young players who are playing their first tournament, and the Champions Trophy is a big tournament. Today’s match was very hard, but hopefully after the game we can start feeling better and our young players can learn from this good experience today. I want them to enjoy this tournament,” said Korean veteran Seo Jongho.

In the opening game of the day, 10-time Champions and holders Germany, had to come from 3-1 down at half-time to grab a point as the game finished in an entertaining 3-3 draw.

VR Raghunath, Mandeep Singh and Harmanpreet Singh scored in a first-half blitz, while Tom Grambusch grabbed two for Germany. It took a Jonas Gomoll penalty strike to equalise late on.

While India were disappointed not to win, they were philosophical afterwards, “We had our opportunities and we could have finished the match earlier, but we missed some really good chances in the last quarter”, said India’s Raghunath after the match. “It’s ok, a draw is a good thing against Germany, but we want to do even better going forward.”

As for Germany, “It was a good start against a good team, and we fought back well I think. It was a fair result, but we want to come back stronger for tomorrow’s match against Belgium,” said  Oskar Deecke.

Hosts England could only muster a scoreless draw with Australia.

“We created a lot of opportunities, we had a lot of corners that we unfortunately didn’t put away. It was a mix perhaps of execution issues, but also perhaps that Great Britain defended very well and we just have to work a little bit harder on different variations. A lot of today was getting used to the conditions here, and we did play very nicely, ” said Aussie coach Graham Reid.

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