Day 12 (Morning): The Netherlands are just one victory away from being in possession of the World, European, FIH Hockey Pro League and Olympic titles after producing yet another dazzling display at the Oi Hockey Stadium, overpowering Rio 2016 gold medallists Great Britain 5-1 in this morning’s first semi-final. It is a fifth successive Olympic final for the Oranje, giving them a chance to claim their fourth Olympic crown.
The Netherlands’ opponents in the gold medal match will be the winner of this evening’s second semi-final between Argentina and surprise package India, which takes place at 19:00 Japan Standard Time (UTC/GMT+9). Las Leonas are aiming to reach the Olympic final for a third time, having claimed silver at both the Sydney 2000 and London 2012 Olympic Games. India’s sensational 1-0 quarter-final triumph over Pool B winners Australia provides enough evidence that they should not be underestimated.
Great Britain made a superb start to the contest and fully matched the top ranked team in world hockey throughout the first quarter, with the defences of both teams impressing before the Dutch took a stranglehold on the game in the second period with two goals in 60 seconds. Rising star Felice Albers slotted home after Laurien Leurink carved open the British defence, with Marloes Keetels smashing home a second with a thumping hit from the top of the circle that gave GB goalkeeper Maddie Hinch little hope of saving.
The Netherlands kicked on further in the third quarter thanks to a sliding penalty corner deflection from Maria Verschoor and a second for Albers, who showed her predatory instincts to attack a cross from the left and guide her touch into the roof of Great Britain’s goal to take the score to 4-0. Giselle Ansley pulled a goal back for Great Britain with a deflected penalty corner before competition top scorer Frederique Matla put the game to bed, netting a penalty corner for her ninth goal in seven matches.
While Great Britain can no longer defend the title they won in 2016, they still have a chance to claim a third successive Olympic medal (bronze - London 2012, gold – Rio 2016) on Friday 6 August when they take on either Argentina or India in the bronze medal match at 10:30 JST.
"England (Great Britain) put a lot of pressure on us in the first quarter and we had to invest a lot of time and energy on creating space for us to play the game that we needed to play and I think we did that very well", said Netherlands coach Alyson Annan in the post-match press conference. "We welcomed the pressure, which is a very positive thing for us to be welcoming pressure in a semi-final. Once we opened the game up, scored two quick goals in the second quarter we were at our game and played very well for the rest of the match."
Great Britain's Hannah Martin said: “We are disappointed. We wanted to keep it tight as long as we could and unfortunately those two goals came in quite quick succession. We knew we could get it back but unfortunately it wasn’t to be today.”
It was a milestone match for Great Britain’s Shona McCallin, who today made her 100th international appearance.
More information about the match can be found by clicking here.
The hockey competitions at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 take place from Saturday 24 July to Friday 6 August 2021. Both the men’s and women’s competitions featured 12 teams, split into two pools of six ahead of quarter-finals, semi-finals and medal matches. For more information about the hockey competitions at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, visit https://olympics.com/tokyo-2020/olympic-games/en/results/hockey/olympic-schedule-and-results.htm.
Make sure that you use #Tokyo2020, #Hockey, #StrongerTogether, #HockeyInvites @Tokyo2020 and @olympics on social media when showing your support for your nation. Be sure to follow FIH for all the latest updates as teams and fans get ready for the biggest show on earth – the Olympic Games.
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – Hockey competitions
4 August 2021 – Day 12
Netherlands 5-1 Great Britain
All times Japan Standard Time (UTC/GMT+9)
Women’s semi-finals – 4 August 2021
19:00 – Argentina v India
Men’s medal matches – 5 August 2021
10:30 – Bronze – Germany v India
19:00 – Gold – Australia v Belgium
Women’s medal matches – 6 August 2021
10:30 – Bronze – Great Britain v TBC
19:00 – Gold – Netherlands v TBC
Final Standings – Men
5 – Great Britain
6 – Netherlands
7 – Argentina
8 – Spain
9 – New Zealand
10 – South Africa
11 – Japan
12 – Canada
Final Standings – Women
5 – Australia
6 – Germany
7 – Spain
8 – New Zealand
9 – China
10 – Ireland
11 – Japan
12 – South Africa