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Dutch beat Argentina to defend women's hockey title

08-11-2012 05:40 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

LONDON, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Netherlands became only the second team to retain the Olympic title in the women's hockey after a 2-0 victory over world champions Argentina at London on Friday.

Chances were even in a scoreless first half before the Netherlands got the opening goal of the match in the 45th minute. Carlien Dirske Van Den Heuvel followed up an Eva De Goede's penalty corner flick to slap the ball into the goal for a 1-0 lead.

Captain Maartje Paumen made it 2-0 to the Netherlands in the 54th minute with an unstoppable penalty corner strike, scoring a record 14th Olympic goal in her second consecutive Olympic final.

Argentina could not find a response and the Netherlands claimed their third Olympic gold, equalling Australia's record number of Olympic titles in the event.

Argentina have now won medals in four consecutive Olympic Games without claiming the title, adding London 2012 silver to the medals they won at Beijing 2008 with bronze, Athens 2004 with bronze and Sydney 2000 with silver.

De Goede was soaked in exhilaration after the games. "This is incredible, I can hardly believe it. I had a good feeling from the beginning and we played such a good first half, and the second half, they (Argentina) were absolutely nowhere," she said.

For Kim Lammers, it's her first gold medal as she missed the Beijing Olympics due to an injury.

"This is four years of training so hard, fighting back. Just this afternoon, we wanted to sleep but we couldn't, and I told Sophie (Polkamp, her roommate) 'We are going to win this, 2-0'. Ask her. It is an easy thing to say afterwards, but I was so sure, I just felt it and I didn't doubt it for a second."

For Naomi Van As, it's her second Olympic title. "Bizarre. We saved our very best match for the end. My second gold, it is just bizarre."

In the bronze medal match, Britain won their first Olympic hockey medal since Barcelona 1992 with a 3-1 victory against New Zealand.

Alex Danson earned Britain's third penalty corner in the 45th minute and captain Kate Walsh took responsibility, pushing the ball in front of the goal where Danson slotted the ball into the net from near the penalty spot to make it 1-0.

New Zealand tried to capitalize their second penalty corner of the match in the 50th minute, but with New Zealand's captain Kayla Sharland off the field, Clarissa Eshuis' shot was blocked by Walsh.

Crista Cullen helped make Britain's penalty corners count to lead 2-0 in the 59th minute with a strong flick to Bianca Russell's right and then another Walsh variation produced a third goal in the 63rd minute for Sarah Thomas, who netted the ball at the post.

Stacey Michelsen gave New Zealand hope in the 68th minute with a penalty corner deflection from an Eshuis' pass, but Britain held on for a 3-1 victory and the bronze medal.

New Zealand missed the chance to win their first medal in women's hockey, but still finished fourth, their highest Olympic finishing position just four years after finishing in last in 12th place at Beijing 2008.

In the fifth-sixth game, Australia beat China 2-0 and China suffered their lowest ranking since their debut at 2000 Sydney Games.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: Xinhua

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