THE HAGUE - South Africa men's hockey team were beaten 4-0 by back-to-back Olympic champions and world No 2 Germany after the Europeans had led 2-0 at halftime in the World Cup at Kyocera Stadium in The Hague, Holland on Sunday. SA head coach Fabian Gregory was encouraged by his side's performance and praised goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse for the number of fine saves he made, while the mentor was somewhat critical of his forwards' ability not to make more of the opportunities created upfront, particularly in the first half.

German head coach and multiple gold medal winner Markus Weise was complimentary of the South Africans' performance and said he didn't feel comfortable until Germany went 3-0 up. Germany scored through Christopher Zeller from the penalty spot in the 27th minute,a field goal on the halftime whistle by Thilo Stralkowski and second half strikes by Mats Grambusch (56th minute) and Oliver Korn in the 59th.

On women’s side, United States pulled off a stunning 2-1 victory over England in a Group B match at the women's hockey World Cup here today. USA, currently ranked 10th in the world, surged to an early two-goal lead through penalty corner conversions by Paige Selenski (third minute) and Kelsey Kolojejchick (15th) and England could do no better than reduce the margin in the second session.

The lone goal for world no. 3 England came from the sticks of captain Kate Walsh, who slammed home a penalty corner in the 56th minute. USA had failed to feature in the 12-team World Cup in 2010 where England got a bronze.

The American girls had finished at the bottom of the 12-nation standings in the 2012 Olympics. England, on the other hand, were part of the Great Britain team that clinched the bronze medal.

In another match, 2008 Olympic bronze medalists China held European rivals Germany to a 1-1 draw in another Group B match. Germany opened the scoring through Hannah Kruger in the 60th minute through a penalty corner, only to see Peng Yang equalise for China with a field goal within a minute.