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Olympics-Hockey-Belgium, Britain secure second wins in men's tournament

·2-min read

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO (Reuters) -Belgium's men's hockey team secured a 3-1 victory over Germany in a scrappy match on Monday for their second win of the Tokyo Olympics, while Britain also won their second game of the tournament by beating Canada.

The British women's team crushed South Africa 4-1 while the Netherlands, Australia, Germany, Argentina and New Zealand were also victorious in the women's tournament.

The world champion Belgians took early control of the game, with forward Cedric Charlier beating the German goalie twice in the first quarter.

"It's true that scoring here is a great feeling," said Charlier. "As long as we are working well offensively together, that's what matters the most for the team."

Emotions ran high on both sides in the second half, with Belgian defender Alexander Hendrickx adding to Germany's pain by scoring his fourth goal of the tournament through a penalty corner.

"They did four or five sliding tackles, which is a yellow card every time," said experienced Belgian midfielder John-John Dohmen, who has more than 400 caps.

"Even when they tackled us, they came to us to have a fight.

"We stayed really calm and I'm really proud of that."

Both sides had players temporarily sent off after getting green and yellow cards, which result in two and five-minute suspensions.

The Germans, however, could not penetrate their rivals' defence effectively enough to level after scoring a penalty corner in the fourth quarter.

Under overcast skies, the pitch was still sprayed with water during the halftime break to keep it fast and smooth.

Officials stuck to the usual two-minute quarterly breaks after extended breaks on Sunday to allow players to cool down in sweltering conditions.

BRITISH WINS

Britain's men's and women's team both won on Monday, with the men beating Canada 3-1.

"You have to understand when you're playing teams that rank lower than you, they have nothing to lose. It's a win-win for them," said the team's head coach Danny Kerry.

In the British women's match, South Africa got off to a flying start, resulting in a fourth-minute goal by defender Nicole Walraven.

The relief among the British players was palpable when Ellie Rayer scored her first Olympic goal shortly before halftime, clearing the way for the 4-1 victory.

"To get on the scoresheet is pretty cool but it's testament to the team and the work we do," Rayer, who also scored the fourth goal, said. "They put it on a plate for me."

In other women's matches, gold medal favourites the Netherlands brushed aside Olympic debutants Ireland 4-0, while Argentina secured a 3-0 victory over Spain and Australia beat China 6-0.

New Zealand held off hosts Japan 2-1 and Germany beat India 2-0.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Ed Osmond)

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