Tokyo 2020: Heartbreak for Ireland as women’s quarter-finals confirmed

July 31, 2021

Day 8 (Evening): Olympic debutants Ireland missed out on a place in the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Hockey competition, suffering a heart-breaking defeat to reigning champions Great Britain in the final match of the women's pool phase. 

Following India’s dramatic 4-3 win over South Africa earlier in the day, the Green Army went into the match against the Rio 2016 gold medallists knowing that only a victory – even by the narrowest of margins - would be enough to secure a place in the knock-out stages. However, it was not to be for the Irish, whose Olympic dream ended with a 2-0 loss. 

The first match of the evening session saw the Netherlands confirm their status as the winners of Pool A with a 3-1 triumph over Germany, who finished second in the standings.

The line-up and timings for the women’s quarter-finals – which take place on Monday 2nd August – as well as the progression into the semi-finals is as follows. All times are Japan Standard Time (GMT / UTC +9).

Quarter-finals – Monday 2nd August
09:30 – Germany (2nd Pool A) v Argentina (3rd Pool B) – Match 3
12:00 – Australia (1st Pool B) v India (4th Pool A) – Match 4
18:30 – Netherlands (1st Pool A) v New Zealand (4th Pool B) – Match 1
21:00 – Spain (2nd Pool B) v Great Britain (3rd Pool A) – Match 2

Winner Match 1 v Winner Match 2
Winner Match 3 v Winner Match 4

More information about the route to the semi-finals and medal matches can be found at the end of this media release. Additional details about Saturday evening’s matches can be found below.  

Women’s Pool A

Germany 1-3 Netherlands
Just like Pool B winners Australia, the Netherlands claimed a maximum 15 points from Pool A, topping the group thanks to a 1-3 victory over Germany. 

Both the Oranje and Die Danas came into the match with 100% winning runs, with the Netherlands ahead in the standings due to a superior goal difference. Even though a draw would have been enough to win the pool, the team clearly went all out to continue their winning streak. Their positivity was quickly rewarded, with Frederique Matla scoring the opening goal just eight minutes in with a deflected penalty corner before the ever-lively Lidewij Welten added a second with a tip-in just before the end of the first quarter. 

Germany pulled a goal back in the second quarter thanks to a low penalty corner drag-flick from Sonja Zimmerman, who fired between the legs of Netherlands shot-stopper Josine Koning to rattle the Dutch backboard. It was the Netherlands who had the final say, however, with Welten brilliantly carving out an opportunity for Matla to skip past impressive Germany goalkeeper Julia Sonntag before passing into an open goal. 

The Oranje finished the pool phase having scored 18 goals and conceded just two. 

"It was amazing, so happy with the win”, said Netherlands captain Eva de Goede. “I think we really played well, really played how we can play. I think we can even play a bit better as in be more consistent throughout the whole game, but very happy with our performance and a great win for us.”

Germany’s Charlotte Stapenhorst said: "That has shown what we need to improve, That's exactly what we did; we went into the game knowing that Holland's obviously a really, really, good team and they're gonna show us what we need to improve. We got that out, and I'm really, really sure that in the next two days we'll improve that and play our best quarter-final."

Match information and statistics can be found on by clicking here.  

Ireland 0-2 Great Britain 
Great Britain proved just too strong for Ireland, a team that started the competition with a victory but ended up unable to pick up the points they needed to progress into the latter stages of the competition. 

The two teams cancelled each other out in the first quarter, but Great Britain came out firing in the second and were rewarded when Susannah Townsend pounced on a loose ball to net from a penalty corner situation. Ireland rallied, but fell further behind just after half time when Hannah Martin – who has been in fine form for GB throughout their Tokyo campaign – brilliantly guided Ellie Rayer’s cross from the right into the net. 

Ireland gave everything they had in the latter stages of the game but could not get the breakthrough that they needed, as their participation in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 came to an end. 

"We didn't focus on any of the other games today", said GB captain Hollie Pearne-Webb. "We knew if we performed well then we'd be absolutely fine. We didn't look at anything else, we didn't look at what others needed to do. We knew that if we won, if we get a result and we played well then we'd get a nice quarter-finals spot."

Reflecting on the competition, Ireland captain Katie Mullan said: "We did ourselves proud, we did our country proud and there's a number of the girls that probably this was their last international game with us, so emotional in that sense. The end of an era.

"We're actually history-makers in the sense we're the first female team in any sport to represent Ireland, so that's huge for us and I don't really think that will fully sink in until we do go home and hopefully get a nice warm welcome from everyone at home.

"We always aim high and we always want to break boundaries and the aim was a quarterfinal, so it leaves us hungry hopefully for Paris (2024)."

It was a milestone match for Ireland’s Nikki Daly, who made her 200th appearance for the Green Army.  

Match information and statistics can be found on by clicking here.  

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Hockey competition continues on Sunday 1st August with the men’s quarter-finals. The first match of the day (09:30 JST) sees recent European silver medallists Germany, who finished second in Pool B, face reigning Olympic champions Argentina, the third ranked team in Pool A. That contest is followed by a mouth-watering clash between Pool A winners Australia and European champions the Netherlands, who finished fourth in Pool B, at 12:00. The winner of the Germany vs Argentina match will face a semi-final game against either Australia or the Netherlands. 

The evening’s matches at the Oi Hockey Stadium features Pool B winners Belgium up against Spain, who finished fourth in Pool A, at 18:30. The last match of the day sees Pool A runners up India – the eight times Olympic gold medallists – taking on Great Britain, who finished 3rd in Pool B, at 21:00. The winner of the Belgium vs Spain match will face either India or Great Britain in the competition semi-finals. 

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

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

31 July 2021 – Day 8

Results (Morning)
Women’s Pool B 
China 3-2 New Zealand
Japan 1-4 Spain
Argentina 0-2 Australia

Women’s Pool A
India 4-3 South Africa
Germany 1-3 Netherlands
Ireland 0-2 Great Britain

Upcoming fixtures 

1 August 

All times Japan Standard Time (GMT / UTC +9)

Oi Hockey Stadium – North Pitch
09:30 – Germany (2nd Pool B) v Argentina (3rd Pool A) – Match 2
12:00 – Australia (1st Pool A) v Netherlands (4th Pool B) – Match 1
18:30 – Belgium (1st Pool B) v Spain (4th Pool A) – Match 4
21:00 – India (2nd Pool A) v Great Britain (3rd Pool B) – Match 3 

The quarter-finals, in both the men’s and women’s competitions, will be as follows although the matches will not necessarily be played in this order: 

1st Pool A v 4th Pool B – Match 1
2nd Pool B v 3rd Pool A – Match 2
2nd Pool A v 3rd Pool B – Match 3
1st Pool B v 4th Pool A – Match 4

The winners of these matches will play for 1st to 4th places. The semi-finals will be as follows although the matches will not necessarily be played in this order: 

Winner Match 1 v Winner Match 2
Winner Match 3 v Winner Match 4

The winners of these matches will play for 1st and 2nd places (gold and silver medals) and the losers will play for 3rd and 4th places (bronze medal) 
Pool standings 
Men: click here.
Women: click here




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