Great Britain's coach, Jason Lee, was understandably disappointed with his team's 2-1 defeat by Poland in their first game of the Olympic qualifying tournament here, but he was not deflated. "Not an ideal start but our aim is still within our reach. It will depend on how we react mentally,'' he said.
In a game in which Great Britain had the edge in possession and scoring opportunities, a nervous display ended with the game slipping away in the final moments as memories of Poland's 5-2 victory in Osaka in the last Olympic qualifier came back to haunt them.
It might have been different if Tom Bertram had not shot wide with a sixth-minute penalty corner. But at the other end Bertram kept a Polish penalty corner shot off the line.
Ten minutes into the second half, Poland's Tomasz Choczaj found himself unmarked at the top of the circle and as Simon Mason hesitated in coming off his line, Choczaj had time to put his side into the lead from the top of the circle.
Britain won six penalty corners in a 17-minute period, all of which were off-target until a seventh one from Danny Hall finally equalised. With three minutes remaining, Poland won their second penalty corner of the game, which Tomasz Dutkiewicz blasted past Simon Mason. Today Britain play the Netherlands, who yesterday conceded a goal in 32 seconds but beat South Africa 5-1.
Great Britain: S Mason; B Hawes, T Bertram, D Garrard (capt), G Dunlop; R Garcia, D Moodie, J Wallis; D Hall, N Stott, M Jones. Substitutes used: C Parnham, M Pearn, M Johnson, D Middleton. Not used: J Lewis.
RESULTS (Madrid): Pool A: South Africa 1 Netherlands 5; Poland 2 Great Britain 1; Spain 6 Japan 1. Pool B: New Zealand 1 Malaysia 0; Pakistan 4 Canada 2; India 1 Belgium 1.Reuse content