Hockey: Garcia strikes form and goals

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The Independent Online
RUSSELL GARCIA scored two well-taken goals in Great Britain's convincing 3-0 win against Belgium here yesterday, but it was his instinctive play and work-rate which would have most impressed his Polo Barcelona team-mates.

Britain were again off to a splendid start, Rob Thompson diving full length and getting a touch to Don Williams's cross to open the scoring in the first minute. Individual performances apart, though, the pattern of the game was disrupted by frequent substitutions as Britain experimented.

Unable to increase their lead before the interval, a new-look Britain took the field after the interval, Jason Laslett moving to inside-left and Garcia upping the rate to create opportunities for the front runners.

A second penalty corner after Thompson's blockbuster had been buried by the goalkeeper gave Garcia the first of his goals.

With Yves Henet saving well from Thompson at another penalty corner but without clearing his lines, Britain slipped their next to Garcia, who flicked high into the roof of the net to seal by far his best performance at international level.

Only after today's game between Spain and Belgium will we know the true merit of this win, but Britain's coach, David Whitaker, was delighted with the performance during the second half and the high pace of the approach work by his players.

GREAT BRITAIN: S Mason (Firebrands); P Bolland (Hounslow), J Halls (Old Loughtonians), J Laslett (Teddington), Soma Singh (Southgate), M Sutton (Bournville), D Williams (Havant), R Garcia (Polo Barcelona), J Shaw (Southgate, capt), S Nicklin (Teddington), R Thompson (Hounslow). Substitutes used: B Crutchley (Hounslow), P McGuire (Teddington), R Davis (Harleston Magpies), C Mayer (Cannock).

BELGIUM: Y Henet; R Gucassoff, R Larcier, M Coudron, J-D Buisset, D Van der Gracht, J Willems, A de Chaffoy, P Puissant, E Van der Gracht, T Francois. Substitute used: O Dandoy.

Umpires: A Mancera (Sp) and A Renaud (Fr).