Cullen penalty lands British victory

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The Independent Online

Great Britain's women followed up Saturday's opening 5-0 victory against Russia with a 2-1 win over Japan yesterday in the Olympic Qualifying tournament at Milton Keynes.

It was a fine victory as Japan had pulled off the upset of Friday's opening day with a 4-0 victory over New Zealand, and Britain's only disappointment will be that they scored only once from 11 penalty corners.

Lucilla Wright, who scored twice against Russia, featured in most of Britain's early build-ups, but it was Fiona Greenham who put them ahead in the 21st minute at their fifth penalty corner.

Japan were on terms four minutes later when Britain's defence was taken by surprise as the Japanese pulled the ball back at a penalty corner before going wide to attack the goal, Akemi Kato putting the ball past Carolyn Reid at the post.

Britain swarmed back from the restart, with Tina Cullen launching herself into the circle, where she was sandwiched and won a penalty stroke. Cullen, who had scored at a penalty stroke against Russia, again made no mistake from the spot.

Britain continued to dominate, winning a series of penalty corners, but were unable to increase their lead, and the Japanese looked dangerous in spasmodic attacks. However, Britain held firm, with Kath Johnson immaculate as ever despite playing with the broken nose suffered in practice before the start of the tournament.

Ireland earned a 1-1 draw against the United States, Kim Mills, equalising with two minutes remaining on the clock.

GREAT BRITAIN: C Reid (Hightown); K Bowden (Fyffes Leicester), M Clewlow (Canterbury), F Greenham (Slough), K Johnson (Harleston Magpies); J Smith (Slough), S Chandler (Slough, capt), D Marston-Smith (Clifton); J Sixsmith (Sutton Coldfield), L Wright (Olton), T Cullen (Hightown). Substitutes used: M Nicholson (Slough), H Richardson (Fyffes Leicester), S Blanks (Fyffes Leicester).

JAPAN: K Matsui; K Miura; Y Suzuki, A Chiba, N Hori; S Morimoto, S Iwao (capt), S Miyazaki; Y Ogura, T Tsukui, A Matsui. Substitutes used: M Sawaya, A Kato, Y Morishita, K Chiba.

Umpires: M Power (Ire) and U Cohen (Ger).