LONDON 2012: Danson strike gives GB winning start at Olympic venue
ALEX Danson's late strike meant Great Britain opened the Olympic hockey venue with a solid victory over South Korea.
ON THE MARK: Alex Danson scored eight minutes from time as Great Britain beat Korea 1-0 in the Olympic test event (Ady Kerry)
Danny Kerry's women's side are considered serious gold medal prospects this summer, after taking silver at the Champions Trophy earlier this year.
They will face China tomorrow and world champions Argentina on Saturday at the London 2012 test event, which is being played on the ground-breaking blue and pink pitch at the Riverbank Arena on Olympic Park.
World number eight Korea pushed the hosts in the opening exchanges, with British goalkeeper Beth Storry needing to be on red-alert after a succession of penalty corners.
Kerry's side looked nervous in the first competitive match at the 12,000 seater arena, which was just a quarter full because the venue's capacity licence is steadily increasing over the course of the next four days.
But Danson finally beat Korean goalkeeper Moon Younghui with a reverse stick strike eight minutes from time.
“The atmosphere was amazing," said Danson.
"It was incredible to receive my 50th cap here on home turf in front of a home crowd and it was lovely to get a goal too.
"I was thinking I’d take it on my reverse because I’m pretty comfortable there and I just hit it. The goalkeeper got a glove to it but it was great to see it go in.”
Kerry admits this week's tournament might be 'smoke and mirrors' - with no-one keen to reveal their hand before it matters this summer.
But positions on the squad are still up for grabs and he admits there is room for improvement.
"We had intercepts in the circle but then poor execution in the circle," he said.
"In terms of chances Korea probably shaded it overall with corners, but we did have some good open play opportunities which we unfortunately we didn't take.
"I'm not overly disappointed with our performance, we got a win, but I am disappointed that we didn't take the good chances we had."
Germany beat Great Britain's men 3-1 but took the lead with a bizarre goal that had home players fuming.
Jason Lee's team were still returning to the pitch from the interval when Germany started the second half - Florian Fuchs netting.
Christophe Zeller and Moritz Furste increased Germany's lead before Ashley Jackson pulled one back.
© Sportsbeat 2012