Giles keeps Britain in the hunt

OLYMPIC GAMES HOCKEY
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The Independent Online
Great Britain 2 Netherlands 2

Great Britain's ingenious exploitation of a loophole in the new rule that allows "rolling" substitutions came to their rescue again yesterday when Calum Giles popped on to the field for a minute or two, just long enough to flick in a late equalising goal from a short penalty.

The use of Giles's skill simply to score at short penalties is infuriating opponents and there is every chance that after the Games the laws will be changed to ban such brief but effective interventions. Without his goal yesterday, though, Britain would be highly unlikely to secure a semi- final place. As it is, after two draws they still have a struggle to come, especially with Australia.

After 17 minutes yesterday Floris Jan Bovelander scored following a penalty corner, but in the 27th minute Jason Lee was moving quickly into a dangerous scoring situation when Erik Jazet cut across him. As the ball went beyond Lee's control, Jensen bundled him down, but by then Jazet had already been penalised for stick obstruction and Russell Garcia flicked the penalty over Jensen for the equaliser.

Tenacity rather than skill had kept Britain in contention, but after an hour a bizarre incident in which Soma Singh inadvertently and painfully deflected a shot from Taco van den Honert into goal off his head resulted not in the goal being given straight away but a penalty award. While Singh was still reeling Marcus Delissen scored.

But soon after, as John Shaw was trying to get the ball across the face of the Dutch goal, it struck Jazet's foot resulting in a penalty corner. Jon Wyatt took it, Simon Hazlitt stopped the ball and Giles succeeded with yet another long, powerful flick.

In the women's competition, the defending champions Spain can virtually say goodbye to any hopes they had of retaining their title following their 1-0 defeat yesterday by Argentina. At the top, the Australians, with a 1-0 win against Germany, moved two points clear.

GREAT BRITAIN: S Mason (Reading); J Halls (Old Loughtonians), J Wyatt (Reading), P McGuire (Teddington), Kalbir Takher (Cannock), Soma Singh (Southgate), C Mayer (Cannock), R Garcia (Polo Barcelona), D Hall (Guildford), J Laslett (Teddington, capt), N Thompson (Old Loughtonians). Substitutes used: C Giles (Havant), J Shaw (Southgate), J Lee (Old Loughtonians), S Hazlitt (Hounslow).

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