Atlanta briefly : Arnau goal beats defending champions

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The Independent Online

Javier Arnau, Spain's 23-year-old winger, sent Germany crashing to a shock 1-0 defeat in the opening match of the Olympic men's hockey tournament yesterday, courtesy of a penalty corner goal.

Arnau scored from Spain's fourth corner of the match in the 51st minute, taking the ball further left than the German defence expected and finishing with a cross shot. The goal was all the more surprising as Spain had failed to exploit their three previous corners. Each time the pusher-out had failed to propel the ball more than a metre or two on the well-watered surface.

Spain denied the vaunted German attack any space and the Germans did not force a corner until the second half. However, they went very close to equalising in the last few minutes when Carsten Fischer shot against an upright from their fourth and last corner.