OLYMPICS / Barcelona 1992: Hockey: British still in sight of goals

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The Independent Online
THE GOING for Britain's hockey squads in the Olympic tournament here is tough and getting tougher as both teams remain on course to achieve their first targets, a place in the semi-finals.

The women, who bounced back from a 2-1 defeat by the Netherlands in their opening game to beat the exciting Koreans 3-1 now face New Zealand, in their final pool game tomorrow, probably needing a win to reach the semi-finals.

They play after the Netherlands- Korea game with the advantage of knowing just what they have to do. It seems likely that the Dutch will prevail, although Dennis Hay, Britain's coach, thinks otherwise, and his team would then need to win by a two-goal margin, which is well within their grasp, unless the Koreans are beaten by more than the odd goal.

The team has so far survived the heat and humidity without too many problems with the all-action Sandie Lister, who has been improving in every appearance in midfield, commenting: 'You just don't notice it, you get on and play.' They have also been fortunate to avoid any major injuries.

The men, with two pool games to play, against Argentina this afternoon and Australia on Monday, are a little further away from the semi-finals. They should certainly beat Argentina, who are finding goals difficult to come by and whose veteran captain Marcelo Garraffo will take no further part because of injury.

Australia will be more difficult. There is no doubt that they have been favourites on a number of occasions in the past and failed. Their play here has a nervous streak about it which Britain's coach Norman Hughes feels he can exploit. 'If we play to our potential and stick to our game plan we should do it. We must also try and start a little quicker than we did against Germany and indeed India.' Of the Australians, Hughes added: 'They are a funny lot but just play ordinary hockey.'