London 2012

GB into hockey semis

British men earn point required to progress to last four

Last Updated: 07/08/12 10:53pm

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GB's Ashley Jackson celebrates his opening goal

GB's Ashley Jackson celebrates his opening goal

Great Britain's men are back in the Olympic hockey semi-finals for the first time since their gold-medal success of 1988.

The team earned the point they needed from their final match, drawing 1-1 with Spain on Tuesday night to book their place in the last four.

Team GB, who finished runners-up in their pool, will now face Group B winners the Netherlands for a place in the final.

Ashley Jackson scored his fifth goal in as many games to give his side a lead late in the first half and even though Pau Quemada converted a second-half set-piece allowing Spain to pile on some late pressure, Britain saw the game out to join their female counterparts in the semis.

The Brits, who came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Australia in their previous game, this time got off to a strong start, taking the game to their opponents.

Jackson and teenager Harry Martin both went close before the former struck with a low penalty corner threaded between goalkeeper Francisco Cortes and Juan Fernandez.

Cortes was more alert in the last minute to tip over James Tindall's snap-shot on the turn from Martin's deflected cross.

Protestations

The match almost turned on two penalty corners.

Firstly, from the breakdown at another Jackson set-piece Tindall turned Barry Middleton's shot onto the crossbar before, with 16 minutes to go, Quemada beat GB keeper James Fair inside his right-hand post.

Spain sensed their chance and they thought it had arrived two minutes from time when they won two corners in quick succession but Fair stood tall to deny Quemada.

At the final whistle Spain coach Dani Martin raced onto the pitch to confront the officials but his protestations were to no avail.

Australia won the pool, sealing it with a 7-0 drubbing of Pakistan, who had gone into the game with hopes of reaching the semis.

Argentina beat South Africa 6-3 in a 'dead' game.

In Pool B, the Netherlands made it five wins from five games by defeating South Korea 4-2.

Germany finished second, ending their group stage with a 5-5 draw against New Zealand, and will play Australia in the semi-finals.

India's miserable campaign ended with a fifth successive loss, the eight-time champions going down 3-0 to Belgium.

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