Thursday, August 2, 2012

The 'ghost town' Games..

As many as 1.5million people are working from home during the Olympics in what experts warned could prove a damaging blow to the capital’s economy.
Thousands of civil servants who would normally be at their desks in Whitehall have taken advantage of an offer of ‘flexible working’ while the Games are on.
And many big blue-chip firms, including the taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, have allowed staff to stay away from their offices following apocalyptic warnings of travel chaos.

 Where is everyone? A deserted Regent Street in London. Businesses say the centre of the city has become a 'ghost town' during the Olympics.

 Worrying: Restaurants in Covent Garden, normally rammed with tourists, are suffering a downturn in trade as customers stay away from the area

Zeller rocket denies Korea..

Korea v. Germany 0-1 (0-1 half-time)
Christopher Zeller’s picture perfect drag-flick zoning in on the inside of the stick-side post in the 30th minute proved all that could separate Germany and Korea in the final game of the day. How they managed to maintain that advantage to the finish owed a huge amount to Max Mueller and Max Weinhold at the back while You Hyo Sik missed a couple of great chances to level the tie. It leaves Germany with two wins from two, level with the Netherlands, while Korea are three points back after the day’s play.
After Korea had started well, Germany grew into the first half. Oskar Deecke could not apply the full weight of a lusty swing to a decent chance while Benjamin Wess somehow missed at the back post from a right wing cross from two great openings. But when their second corner came along, awarded after Zeller’s reverse was bravely blocked by Kang Moon Kyu, the ace striker whizzing home his 155th international goal just a couple of centimetres from the apex of post and crossbar.
Korea stormed back into contention in the second period despite a series of cards as Kang Moon Kweon nudged into sideboard and Nam Hyun Woo pulled his corner-flick wide. Woon Kon Yeo, after a tricky run, drew the best from Weinhold before You Hyo Sik’s last gasp chance was the best of them but, after beating three men, proceeded to slice his shot from close to the spot to leave them wholly frustrated as Germany ran out time to hold on to the win.
(Stephen Findlater)

Belgium v. Netherlands 1-2 (first-half 0-0)
The Dutch earned their second win in as many outings with a 2-1 victory against Belgium thanks to the efforts of Mink van der Weerden who scored both goals for his team. The Dutch now lead Group B with six points, while Belgium is still looking for its first point of the Olympic tournament.
Despite dominating the first half, the Netherlands had to settle for a scoreless draw after 35 minutes The early wake-up call came for Belgium when Mink van der Weerden dinged a pentaly corner shot off the post. The play was quickly followed by a point blank chance for Billy Bakker, but Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch did his part to keep the underdogs in the game and keep things scoreless at the break.
There was little Vanasch could do when the scoring silence was broken seven minutes into the second half when van der Weerden ripped in an unstoppable penalty corner shot off the top cross bar for the 1-0 lead. It was ironic that Belgium fell behind in the second half as they played their best hockey of the game but kept missing the target by inches.
Belgium’s frustration finally came to an end with 11 minutes left in regulation when Jerome Dekeyser scored a textbook penalty corner. But the jubilee was short lived when van der Weerden struck again less than three minutes later. His initial strike on a penalty corner was blocked but landed right back on his stick when he then ensured the second shot found the mark,giving the Dutch the 2-1 advantage.
Belgium tried desperately to net the equalizer, but came up short in their second straight loss of the London Games.
For more info on BEL vs NED, click here
(Eric Bailey)

New Zealand vs. India 3-1 (half-time: 3-1)
India and New Zealand were both looking for their first points of this Olympic tournament and hoping to keep their semi-final hopes strong in today’s B pool game. New Zealand came out on top of the fast-paced, offensive game with a 3-1 win. New Zealand is now back in the hunt for a semi-final berth sitting on three points, while India must turn things around quickly with two losses in two games.
The teams didn’t waste any time getting down to business with an amazing sequence of action in the first 15 minutes. India struck hard and fast, earning a penalty corner on their first trip down the field. Specialist Sandeep Singh easily converted the chance for the 1-0 lead less than two minutes into play.
New Zealand was awarded a penalty corner on the ensuing play, but it dinged off the post. That misfire was atoned for 10 minutes later when Andrew Hayward looked like a short corner pro himself, easily sinking the 1-1 marker just 12 minutes into action.
The back-and-forth continued in the fast-paced game and it was clear that it was a wide-open affair. Phillip Burrows and Shea McAleese provided some thrifty give-and-go action with Nicholas Wilson eventually finishing the play after a diving pass from McAleese to open up a 3-1 lead late in the first half.
The second half was still speedy, but the goals came to a grounding halt. Despite being whistled for two yellow cards, India still put steady pressure on the New Zealand net, but could not finish their chances as New Zealand hung on for the 3-1 win.
Umpire Ged Curran was presented with the Golden Whistle before the match to recognize his 100th international match.

(Eric Bailey)