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Hockey women's round-up: Australia knocked out

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Hockey Sticks Olympics
London, Aug 7: Here is the summary of the final group matches in women's hockey played at the London Games on Monday.

See Points Table: Men's, Women's

Pool A

Japan beat China 1-0 (Half-time score: 0-0)

The Sakuras, who till this match were looking certain to end last in the group, pulled out their most surprising victory against the 2008 runners-up, China, thus ending their hopes for a semi-final berth. Rika Komazawa's goal in the 54th minute from the third corner got the Japanese in the game. The first half was a goalless affair with Kaori Fujio leading the Japanese charge against Fu Baorong, who was leading the Chinese attack. Sakiyo Asano blocked a couple of Chinese attempts to earn a breakthrough to keep it nil-all at the break. Japan was the better side in the latter half and finally got their reward just 16 minutes remaining in the match. Japan now play South Africa for the 9th-10th positions while China take on Australia for the 5th-6th positions.

Korea beat Belgium 3-1 (Half-time score: 2-0)

The Belgians fought hard but the experienced Koreans proved a little too tough for them. The Belgian Panthers went down 1-3 to the Asians and ended at the bottom of Pool A with just two points garnered from two draws. Monday's encounter started on a slow note. The Koreans got two penalty-corners in the first ten minutes but failed to convert either of them. It was in the tenth minute when an unmarked Kim Jong Eun made the breakthrough. Stephanie de Groof faced a green card for arguing the goal. Lee Seon Ok increased the lead in the 25th minute by converting another penalty corner.

The Belgians made a few quick attacks but never really could penetrate the Korean defence. Just two minutes into the second half, Erica Coppey reduced the gap for the Belgians, who also earned a penalty corner around this time but failed to find the equaliser. Jill Boon and Charlotte de Vos also had some chances but could not get the much-needed goal. The desperate Belgians even replaced their goalkeeper with an additional player in the dying minutes but it proved counter-productive with Eun scoring the team's third goal and her second. Korea, with this win, finished fourth in the group and will play Germany for the 7th-8th positions.

The Netherlands beat Great Britain 2-1 (Half-time score: 0-1)

China's defeat ensured the hosts a semifinal berth and this match was only of academic interest to decide the top two placings in Pool A. This match saw the supporters trying to outdo each other in the stands. Kim Lammers got an early chance to score but was tackled well by the defenders in the opposition. The Dutch were launching attacks but it was Great Britain which made the first strike though a penalty-corner in the 29th minute. Crista Cullen was the scorer. The Netherlands got a penalty-corner in the very next minute but a superb effort from Beth Storry stopped them from tying the score.

The Dutch stepped up the attack in the second half and Naomi van As slammed in the equaliser in the 43rd minute off a penalty corner. Kitty van Male made it 2-0 off a superb pass from Maartje Goderie and the Dutch went for the kill hereafter. They almost made it 3-1 in the final minute and was clearly the better finisher of the match. The Netherlands women finished their group campaign on a perfect note and will take on New Zealand, the second-position holder in the other group in the semi-final. Great Britain will play Argentina in the other semi-final.

Pool B

New Zealand-Germany drawn 0-0

The Black Sticks eves made their maiden entry into the semi-finals after they drew with the Germans, who were eliminated. The Kiwis were under less pressure as they just needed a draw while the Germans needed a huge win to have any realistic chance of making the semi-finals. The latter had made much attempts but never found the goal. The Kiwis, who were clearly dominating the match, also had some good chances but failed to score. Germany also got a couple of corners but failed to get it past Bianca Russell at the New Zealand goal. The Germans thought they had scored twice but both were turned down on technical grounds.

South Africa beat USA 7-0 (Half-time score: 4-0)

South Africa, which had started the tournament with a 1-7 drubbing in the hands of Argentina, ended their campaign with a 7-0 trouncing of the USA. The goal-rush started in the 14th minute when Tarryn Bright scored from a corner and Lesle-Ann George (20th minute), Jen Wilson (25th minute), Pietee Coetzee (33rd minute) made it 4-0 by break. Bright and Coetzee scored their second goals in the 44th and 62nd minutes while Dirkie Chamberlain scored in the 54th minute to complete the rout.

It was Coetzee's 248th international goal. After four straight losses, the South African firework in the fifth match elevated their position to fifth in the group. The USA, which came here as the Pan American champions and created much sensation after beating Argentina 1-0 in their second match, looked good mid-way but two successive losses against the Kiwis and South Africans left them at the bottom of the table.

Argentina-Australia drawn 0-0

Australia needed a win in the last match to make the semifinals after New Zealand drew with Germany while a draw would have done the work for Argentina. The Hockeyroos, the most successful side in women's hockey in Olympics with three titles, had an early chance but could not make use of the pass. Both teams were cautious in approach to ensure they did not lose it. Veteran Luciana Aymar shook up the proceedings somewhat by making some dangerous moves in the Australian circle.

The Las Leonas made a more speedy start in the second half and Australia just managed to stop the opposition from scoring. Desperate to score, the Hockeyroos even fielded an extra player but yet failed to find that elusive goal. The draw left Argentina, New Zealand and Australia at 10 points but the Hockeyroos lost out owing to a worse goal difference of +3. They will rue the 0-1 shocker against New Zealand in their first match.

OneIndia News

(With FIH inputs)

Story first published: Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 16:13 [IST]
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