Germany beats U.S. 4-2 in women's field hockey

Aug. 14, 2008, 12:19 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) Germany scored three second-half goals to beat the United States 4-2 in Olympic women's field hockey on Thursday.

The 2004 gold medalists improved to 3-0 in Pool B and greatly improved their chances of making the medal round again.

The United States dropped to 0-1-2. Though the Americans have been competitive with draws against top-five teams Argentina and Japan, they will be hard-pressed to earn one of the top two slots in the six-team pool that qualify for the medal round. They have two games remaining in pool play.

The Germans had several quality chances early, but each time, U.S. goalie Amy Tran denied them. The United States took a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute when Tiffany Snow scored off a deflection. Germany answered in the 34th minute when Natascha Keller drove, then put a reverse stick shot past Tran to tie the score right before halftime.

Germany's Fanny Rinne scored in the 49th minute on a penalty corner. Her shot got under a diving Tran, who touched the ball but only slightly redirected its course as it went into the goal.

Natascha Rodewold gave the Germans a 3-1 lead before Angie Loy intercepted a German clearing attempt near the goal and flicked the ball in to trim Germany's lead to 3-2 in the 60th minute.

Germany's Anke Kuehn scored just three minutes later to end the U.S. threat.

In earlier action, the Netherlands hung on for a 1-0 win over host China in a matchup of undefeated teams.

The Netherlands, ranked No. 1 in the world, improved to 3-0 in Pool A. China, which entered the game unscored upon, fell to 2-1.

Maartje Paumen scored on a high shot near the edge of the circle in the 21st minute, and the Netherlands took that lead into halftime.

Despite a boisterous and hopeful crowd, No. 6 China struggled to create scoring opportunities in the second half. Its best chance came in the 69th minute, but Zhao Zudiao's shot was high.