Olympic field hockey medal matches set
Olympic field hockey medal matches setLONDON – The top two world ranked teams will meet in the final Olympic match at Riverbank Arena in London’s Olympic Park on Friday, August 10 at 8:00 p.m. The Netherlands, ranked No. 1, will fight for their second consecutive gold medal, while Argentina, ranked No. 2, hopes to add gold to their collection of silver and bronze Olympic medals.
The Netherlands defeated New Zealand, 3-1, in the first penalty shootout of the tournament this afternoon. Argentina upset the host nation, Great Britain, 2-1, in front of a home crowd and under the lights of Riverbank Arena this evening.
Argentina’s only loss was to the U.S. in the second match-up of the tournament, while the Netherlands have won all six of their Olympic matches.
New Zealand can’t be disappointed with their Olympic campaign. They made it through to the final four for the first time in their Olympic history. Ranked No. 6 in the world and finishing eleventh in Beijing, the New Zealand Black Sticks have had a successful run in London. They will face Great Britain for the bronze medal at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, August 10. Great Britain will be a tough side and have the support of a home crowd as they challenge for a podium finish.
South Africa and Japan fought for a ninth place finish in the first placement match of the day this morning. In overtime, Japan scored the golden goal to lift the No. 9 world ranked team to the best possible finish – ninth place. Ai Murakami scored both of Japan’s goals, including the game-winner on a penalty stroke with in overtime. South Africa finished off their Olympic campaign with a tenth place finish, an improvement from the 2008 Beijing Games.
Korea and Germany laced up their Olympic turf shoes one last time and took the pitch for seventh place. A draw with New Zealand eliminated the No. 3 world ranked Germany team from the semi-finals and dropped them to a disappointing fourth place in Pool B. It is safe to say Germany had higher expectations in London. Capturing a gold medal in 2004 and finishing just out of medal contention in 2008, a podium finish was what the team was anticipating. Although not competing for a medal, Germany finished with a strong performance and convincing 4-1 win over Korea. Korea’s eighth-place finish is on par with their last three Olympic appearances - two ninth-place finishes and one seventh-place.
The U.S. will face Belgium at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, August 10 for an eleventh place finish. Belgium’s results include three loses to the Netherlands, Great Britain and Korea and two draws to China and Japan. The U.S. will look to finish their Olympic campaign on a high note.
Following the U.S., Belgium match, Australia will face China at 11:30 a.m. for fifth in overall standings. China didn't match their performance in Beijing, but will be looking to finish in the same place they are world ranked - No. 5.
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