London 2012

GB into semi-finals

British women lose but still go through to the last four

Last Updated: 07/08/12 1:02pm

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Sarah Thomas goes forward for Team GB against the Netherlands

Sarah Thomas goes forward for Team GB against the Netherlands

Great Britain's women took their place in the Olympic hockey semi-finals on Monday despite a 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands.

Danny Kerry's side went into the game already assured of their place in the last four thanks to Japan's 1-0 win over China earlier in the day.

Had China won, the British team would have needed a result against group leaders the Netherlands but in the end the defeat mattered little.

The British women wifinished runners-up in the pool so will now face the winners of Group B, Argentina, in the semis.

The freedom afforded GB by Japan did not translate into their play against the Dutch and the sharpness and drive which they had shown in early fixtures was distinctly lacking.

GB had an early scare when Kim Lammers, with four goals already, deflected wide Margot van Geffen's cross, and defensively there were a couple of shaky moments with errors leading to Holland's first penalty corner, which they did not make the most of.

Crista Cullen showed the Dutch how it should be done from their first set-piece, flicking low and hard to beat Joyce Sombroek for her fourth of the tournament.

Untidy

Naomi van As equalised by sweeping home near the post in the 43rd minute.

GB continued to look untidy in defence and when Kate Walsh lost her bearings Van As was afforded time to pick a spot at the far post and Kitty van Male turned in the second.

The Dutch duly saw the game out to make it five wins out of five going into the last four.

Earlier Rika Komazawa had scrambled home a penalty corner midway through the second half to earn already-eliminated Japan the three points against China.

The other Group A game was meaningless in terms of semi-final qualification. It saw South Korea beat Belgium 3-1.

In Group B, Australia were eliminated on goal difference after three sides finished on 10 points.

New Zealand's goalless draw with Germany earlier in the day meant the Aussies went into their clash with Argentina needing a win but that game also finished 0-0.

The result took the Argentines through as group winners with New Zealand finishing second.

South Africa thrashed the USA 7-0 in the day's other game.

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