Title defenders The Netherlands and world champions Germany got off to a roaring start with impressive victories at the Champions Trophy here on Thursday.
The Netherlands, which won the European title in August, hammered Britain 4-0 while Germany was also in superb form, dominating Pakistan from the start and winning 5-2. In another match, Korea and Spain fought to a 2-2 draw.
The 4-0 scoreline flattered the Dutch as the British side fought gamely throughout, but were let down by poor finishing while the victorious side scored on swift counter attacks on all four occasions.
The Dutch opened the scoresheet in the opening minutes at the Bukit Jalil Stadium, when centre half Matthijis Brouwer snatched up a loose ball and put through Teun De Noojer on the right flank who slammed home.
The Netherlands stepped it up a notch in the second half after a heavy downpour eased the hot conditions. They came out firing and scored a magnificent goal in the 39th minute from Ronald Brouwer.
The forward, with three defenders behind his back, took control of a bouncy ball in the circle and took a reverse stick swing which gave British goalkeeper James Fair no chance at all.
Forward Rob Reckers then got into the score sheet with a brace in the 51st and 64th minutes.
Britain had another chance at goal when they won their fourth penalty corner in the very last minute of the game. They shot into the net from the goalmouth melee but South Africans umpire Gary Symonds disallowed it.
Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans said he was happy with the result which came despite tough conditions, and hoped it would boost his players' confidence for the rest of the tournament.
"Well of course I'm pleased with the performance of my team. I must say the first half, we really had to cope with the circumstances, the first half was really warm," he said.
"We scored in two minutes in the first half and the same in the second half. Of course, it gives the team a lot of confidence."
British coach Jason Lee said his team played below par and paid the price for mistakes inside the box, but was optimistic they would improve as the tournament moved on to the final stages.
"We were surprised that we let four goals in and surprised that we didn't score because we had some... chances," he said.
Germany, aiming to overcome their flop at the European Championships in August, were in total control from the whistle and were always the better side as they pushed Pakistan in numbers deep in defence.
They opened scoring in the seventh minute when veteran forward Oliver Korn broke through from midfield and banged in from close range. They went further ahead with goals from Moritz Furste in the 21st minute and Florian Keller a minute later.
Pakistan fought back with two goals from Waqas Akbar in the 27th and Shabbir Ahmed Khan in the 48th. But the comeback was shortlived as Germany's Philip Witte scored in the 51st minute and Korn netted his second in the 69th.
Germany coach Markus Weise was gracious in victory and said they were fortunate Pakistan did not overtake after pushing the scoreline to 3-2.
"The first game is always a very difficult game," he said. "So we are quite satisfied to have three points... five goals is also not bad. So that's a good start for us."
World number-four Spain got off to a flying start with a 2-0 lead through Eduard Arbos in the second minute and Eduard Tubau in the 21st, but looked tired as the game wore on.
Korea replied through Jang Jong-hyun in the 36th minute and Lee Nam-yong in the 48th to bring the game to a draw.
Netherlands 4 (Teun de Nooijer, 2, Ronald Brouwer, 40, Rob Reckers, 50, 64) Britain 0