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Hockey: Park double secures Korea draw with Germany in World League Final

Korea (in red) twice went behind against Germany, but two goals from striker Park Mi-hyun gave the Asia Cup runners-up a deserved 2-2 draw in Argentina. Photos: FIH / Frank-Uijlenbroek.

Korea (in red) twice went behind against Germany, but two goals from striker Park Mi-hyun gave the Asia Cup runners-up a deserved 2-2 draw on the second day of the FIH World League Final in Argentina. Photos: FIH / Frank-Uijlenbroek.

December 2, 2013: A brilliant finish from striker Park Mi-hyun earned Korea a deserved 2-2 draw with Germany in Sunday’s second Pool A match of the women’s FIH World League Final, securing both teams their first point in Argentina.

 

Earlier, the Netherlands took a firm grip of the group thanks to a wonderful fightback against England, as two late goals sealed a 3-2 win and put the Dutch top of the pool with two victories in San Miguel de Tucuman.

 

In Pool B, China lost 5-1 to Australia on Sunday evening, as the 2008 Olympics runners-up failed to match their performance in Saturday’s 2-0 win over New Zealand.

 

Germany started strongly in a lively contest against Korea, being denied on several occasions early on by goalkeeper Jang Soo-ji. The European champions eventually went ahead in the 12th minute when Pia Oldhafer dribbled around the back of the Korean defence before pulling the ball back for Eileen Hoffmann to slam into the net.

 

Korea stormed back into the game in the 23rd minute when a beautifully worked passing move down the left ripped through the Germany defence and created a close-range finish for 27-year-old Park, earning her 193rd cap for Korea.

 

Kim Da-rae, one of four players in the squad with over 100 caps, then had a golden opportunity to put Korea ahead after rounding the keeper, but put her reverse-stick shot wide of the goal with only a defender to beat.

 

Instead, Germany went back in front early in the second half through an own goal following an unfortunate deflection from a right-wing cross.

 

Korea dominated the latter stages, but struggled to find a breakthrough until 10 minutes from the end. Han Hye-lyoung, another of Korea’s ‘centurions’, dribbled to the top of the Germany area before passing to Park on the right, where the striker roofed a brilliant equaliser from a tight angle.

 

The Asia Cup runners-up came agonisingly close to scoring a winner in the final stages of the match, but top-quality defending from Germany secured the draw.

 

China were on the receiving end of a hockey lesson as Australia’s ‘Hockeyroos’ continued their fine form, cruising to an impressive 5-1 win against their Pool B rivals on Sunday evening.

 

Australia (in gold) handed China a 5-1 thrashing in Pool B on Sunday evening.

Australia (in gold) handed China a 5-1 thrashing in Pool B on Sunday evening.

Fresh from a 2-2 draw against host nation Argentina on Saturday, Australia were quick to stamp their authority and led through Claire Messent’s 15th-minute opener, which rocketed into the net after China failed to effectively clear their lines.

 

A second goal arrived three minutes later, with Kelly White glancing home a perfect pass from Madonna Blyth to double Australia’s advantage.

 

Wang Mengyu reduced the deficit shortly before half-time with a penalty corner drag-flick, but Australia netted immediately after the break when Emily Smith showed a poacher’s instinct at the end of a fine passing move.

 

Smith claimed her second of the match with another close-range finish to make it 4-1 in the 50th minute, with Jodie Schulz completing the rout late on with a perfectly placed penalty-corner effort.

 

Source: FIH

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