Hockey: Team GB stroll to success against disappointing South Korea


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The Independent Online

Great Britain's women proved they have character to add to their silky skills as they recovered from the crushing blow of conceding a two-goal second-half lead to South Korea to register their second win of the tournament.

The hosts struggled without the services of captain and most experienced player Kate Walsh, who watched the match from her hospital bed as she recovers from having a plate inserted in a broken jaw.

Aside from leaking goals from a leading position the sight of striker Alex Danson being carried off on a stretcher with an ankle injury was the last thing GB wanted having seen Walsh receive a stick in the face on the very same corner of turf on Sunday.

Nic White and Crista Cullen had given the hosts a 2-0 lead and although they were initially pegged back Danson restored the two-goal cushion.

However, Korea stunned the Riverbank Arena with two quick goals but GB bounced back with Georgie Twigg and Chloe Rogers scoring the goals which took them top of Pool A after two matches.

The game could not have begun better with a brilliant run from White out on the right bringing the first goal in the sixth minute.

Her dipping shot, having cut into the circle, should have been dealt with by Jang Soo-ji but she allowed it to sneak under her foot.

But midway through the half Korea levelled when a defensive mix-up between Rogers and goalkeeper Beth Storry enabled Kim Darae to poke home from close range.

But 10 minutes before half-time GB restored their lead when Cullen produced a low penalty corner flick.

It was to prove the end for Jang, patently at fault for the first goal, who was immediately replaced by Moon Young-hui and returned to the bench to receive a torrent of harsh words from the coaching staff.

Within three minutes of the second half starting GB had extended their lead.

A driving run from Helen Richardson won a penalty corner and when Cullen flicked low Danson dived across her marker and slid her stick into the path of the ball to divert it past Moon.

From that point it began to unravel somewhat as Han Hye-lyoung fired a penalty corner move through Storry's legs and then a long pass from the inside-left picked out the unmarked Park Mi-hyun to deflect in at the far post.

But after hours and hours with the psychologist this team is made of sterner stuff and they bounced back with two goals in quick succession.

With Cullen off the pitch the regular corner routine broke down but when Richardson returned the ball back into the circle Twigg was on hand to reverse-sweep home from close range.

And when Wales international Sarah Thomas cut in from the left her pass across goal was tapped in by Rogers.

Danson's departure on a stretcher late on was a concern having already lost Walsh, who has not ruled out making a comeback at these Games yet, but it may be the spirit within the camp will see them through such adversities.