USA Field Hockey NEWS Dutch beat China for...

Dutch beat China for women's field hockey gold

Aug. 22, 2008, 12:13 p.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) The Netherlands defeated China 2-0 to win the Olympic gold medal in women's field hockey Friday.

The Netherlands earned silver medals at the 2004 games in Athens, but hadn't won gold since 1984.

The silver is China's first medal in women's field hockey. The sixth-ranked Chinese held their own against the world's top-ranked team, but lacked the skill to match the Dutch.

Argentina defeated Germany 3-1 to win the bronze medal and repeat its 2004 finish.

The championship match was scoreless at halftime, and featured several spectacular saves by China goalkeeper Zhang Yimeng.

The Netherlands finally scored in the 51st minute on a penalty corner. Naomi van As knocked in a rebound off Pan's stick to give her team a 1-0 lead.

China failed to convert on a penalty corner less than two minutes later.

Netherlands scored the clincher when Lidewij Welten knocked in an errant clearance attempt by China's Li Shuang in the 62nd minute.

The Germans won gold in 2004, but struggled defensively in the medal round.

Rosario Luchetti scored the first goal for Argentina in the 11th minute on a deflected shot that went through several German defenders.

Argentina's Carla Rebecchi stopped a pass from going over the end line, rolled the ball back and scored in the 22nd minute to make it 2-0.

Anke Kuehn's goal in the 45th minute cut Argentina's lead to 2-1, but Argentina's Noel Barrionuevo scored the clincher off a penalty corner in the 63rd minute.

South Africa defeated New Zealand 4-1 for 11th place, and Australia defeated Britain 2-0 for fifth.