Aussies, Dutch still perfect in men's field hockey
BEIJING (AP) Australia and the Netherlands won Olympic men's field hockey matches Friday to remain undefeated and set up the tournament's most compelling matchup so far.
Australia beat Pakistan 3-1, and the Netherlands defeated Canada 4-2 in Group B pool play. That means both will carry 3-0 records into Sunday's matchup between the 2004 Olympic finalists.
Australia took the gold in Athens with a 2-1 win over the Dutch in extra time. The Netherlands took gold in 1996 and 2000. Australia is ranked No. 1 in the world, while the Netherlands is No. 3.
"It is always nice to play in the Olympics and play Australia, no matter where," Dutch scorer Taeke Taekema said after scoring three goals against Canada. "It is a big game. It is a key game for us. We will know where we stand."
Taekema scored three first-half goals against Canada. He scored in the fourth minute on a penalty corner, in the eighth minute on a penalty shot and again in the 33rd minute to help his team lead 3-1 at halftime. Canada remained winless.
Pakistan looked poised to take the shine off Sunday's dream matchup when Shaheel Abbasi scored in the 16th minute. Grant Schubert responded with a field goal for Australia in the 20th minute, and the score remained 1-1 at halftime.
Australia's Jamie Dwyer scored in the 41st minute to make it 2-1, and Travis Brooks added a goal in the 59th minute. Pakistan dropped to 1-2.
In the other Group B game, Germany and South Korea played to a 3-all draw. Germany is 2-0-1, while South Korea is 2-1.
In Group A, Spain defeated China 2-1 to remain undefeated. Pol Amat scored the game-winning goal in the 67th minute, breaking a 1-1 halftime tie. Spain is 3-0, while China is 0-3.
New Zealand beat Belgium 4-2 and improved to 2-1 in Group A. New Zealand led 3-0 at halftime, and took a 4-1 lead on a goal by Shea McAleese in the 60th minute. New Zealand improved to 2-1, while Belgium dropped to 0-2-1.
In the late game in Group A, Britain defeated South Africa 2-0. Britain improved to 2-1, while South Africa dropped to 0-3.