British player Ashley Jackson celebrates his first goal
GREAT Britain overpowered India 4-2 in the London 2012 warm-up event in London on Thursday (May 3) to set up a clash with Australia on Saturday (May 5) to reach the final of the Olympic Park tournament.
Britain were 2-0 up inside 11 minutes as they exploited gaps in the Indians’ defence with striker Rob Moore first firing in a reverse-stick shot from the top of the circle before Simon Mantell’s run and cross-shot was deflected in by Sandeep Singh.
VR Raghunath pulled one back for India from a penalty corner before Ashley Jackson scored twice in three minutes, touching in Ben Hawes’s long ball and then converting from close range.
Sandeep scored at the ‘right’ by converting a penalty corner just before the hour, but India never looked like staging a revival as Britain recorded their first win of the competition.
World number ones Australia, whose coach Ric Charlesworth has complained about the state of the Olympic Park pitch, were defeated 3-2 by Germany.
“It is great to win, of course it is,” coach Jason Lee said.
“We wouldn’t score those four goals again but our performances are improving and hopefully that bodes well for the summer.
“We did look sluggish and in the second half we stopped showing for the ball and we had some great opportunities to play through them if we just had a few more people feeling like they could deliver.”
In the women’s event, Crista Cullen scored twice as Great Britain beat Beijing silver medallists China 3-0.
The Leicester defender flicked home a sixth-minute penalty corner and then followed in a rebound off another of her set-pieces in overtime, off the crossbar, at the end of the game to seal victory.
Britainmade hard work of converting their dominance into goals and only grabbed their second two minutes from time through Susie Gilbert.
Goalkeeper Beth Storry had a quiet game although she saved a corner from China’s Mengyu Wang late in the first half and denied Qingling Song after she mis-hit a close-range reverse-stick shot just past the hour mark.
“My poor little heart can’t take having all that possession and dominance and only being 1-0 up,” said Great Britain coach Danny Kerry of his side’s late goals.
The British women now top the group with one match to go after Argentina - their next opponents on Saturday - were held to a goalless draw by South Korea.
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