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Netherlands-Spain Olympic Field Hockey Qualifier Ends in Draw - 2004-03-05

The reigning Olympic men's field hockey champion -- the Netherlands -- has played host country Spain to a 2-2 draw in an Olympic qualifying tournament in Madrid.

Also in Pool A action, Britain scored its first win of the tournament, 1-0 over Japan, and South Africa crushed Poland, 6-0.

The Dutch team took the lead over Spain in the seventh minute on a goal by Bob Reckers. The Netherlands made it 2-0 when Nick Meijer scored in the 23rd minute. Spain scored its first goal before halftime on Santiago Freixa's penalty corner. Freixa scored the tying goal in the 53rd minute.

The Netherlands and Spain are tied with seven points in group A, but the Dutch lead the group on goal differential.

Meanwhile, Britain scored its first victory of the tournament, as Tom Bertram fired in a penalty corner in the 35th minute for the 1-0 win over Japan. Britain is in fourth place in the group with three points from three matches.

South Africa's Greg Nichol scored four of his team's six goals in its Pool A shutout win over Poland. South Africa now has three points from three matches.

The 12-nation tournament is divided into two groups of six teams each. The top seven finishers in the tournament advance to the Athens Olympics.