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China snatch first win with golden goal in Olympic men's hockey
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18:48, August 23, 2008

China picked up their first win thanks to a golden goal from captain Song Yi in the Olympic men's hockey 11th-12th playoff in Beijing on Saturday, beating South Africa 4-3.

The bottom-ranked China, in their Olympic debut, got only one point from a draw out of five in the preliminary round.

China's head coach Kim Sang-ryul gave 60 points of a perfect 100 to their performance at the Games.

South Africa took a three-minute lead with a field goal from Lungile Tsolekile, and Na Yubo scored the equalizer in the 32nd minute for China. The halftime saw a 1-1 tie.

The second half ended still with a 3-3 draw, which forced an extra time play. China got both the goals on penalty corners from Song Yi and South Africa's were from Ian Symons in the 63rd and Austin Smith in the final second.

In the extra time, Song Yi scored a golden goal by conversion of a penalty corner with seconds to go and sealed China's 4-3 win.

"We had many strong teams as our opponents. This is our first Olympic Games and we lack lots of things," said Song Yi."Some players are too young to follow the pace, and they need more experience."

"South Africa have a fantastic team spirit. We lost six matches in a row but we are still a close unit. We appreciated the experience we gained here and I absolutely enjoyed the Games in Beijing," said South African midfielder Austin.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 48 17 27 92/td>
2 USA 31 36 36 103
4 Russia 19 20 23 62
3 Great Britain 18 13 14 45
5 Germany 15 10 15 40
6 Australia 13 14 16 43
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