Beijing Olympics gold medalist Netherlands escaped with a 2-2 draw against England when Maartje Paumen scored off a penalty corner with no time remaining in yesterday’s opening match of the women’s Champions Trophy field hockey tournament.
Australia beat Germany 2-0 and defending champions Argentina edged China 2-1 in other matches yesterday at the six-team tournament.
England’s Katie Long scored in the 16th minute — the only goal of the first half — and Alexandra Danson put England, ranked last of the teams in the tournament, in good position for a huge upset when she scored in the 46th.
But Marilyn Agliotti cut the deficit for the No. 1-ranked Dutch in the 60th minute, and Paumen’s flick directly under the crossbar on the final play of the match gave the Olympic champions a draw.
Australia striker Emily Hurtz and captain Madonna Blyth scored in the second half to lead the hosts past Germany. Only six players are left from last year’s Australian Olympic team in the 18-player squad, and seven players are making their Champions Trophy debuts.
Hurtz, one of those on debut, scored her first Champions Trophy goal when she pounced on a loose ball in the German circle and dribbled the ball through two players to score 45 seconds into the second half.
Australia, which won the Olympic gold medal in 2000 in the same stadium being used for this year’s tournament, made it 2-0 in the 44th minute when midfielder Casey Eastham crossed to Blyth, who made a sliding backstick deflection.
Argentina got the first penalty corner 24 minutes into the scoreless first half — in which each side had only one shot on goal — but China goalkeeper Zhang Yimeng made the save.
Veteran Agustina Garcia put Argentina ahead in the 46th minute, but China equalized when captain Ma Yibo scored on a penalty corner in the 57th.
Noel Barrionuevo’s goal on a penalty corner — her eighth in Champions Trophy events — with just over three minutes left gave the South Americans the win.
Today, England plays Germany, Australia takes on Argentina and China plays the Netherlands before a rest day tomorrow. The finals are scheduled for next Sunday.