Netherlands repeated their feat of Beijing and defended their Olympic Gold medal by defeating Argentina 2-0 in well fought Final match at Riverbank arena. Hosts Great Britain defeated (3-1) New Zealand to win the Bronze Medal.
1. Netherlands (Gold), 2. Argentina (Silver), 3. Great Britain (Bronze), 4. New Zealand, 5. Australia, 6. China, 7. Germany, 8. Korea, 9. Japan, 10. South Africa, 11. Belgium, 12. United States
The Dutch started well, but Argentina slowly gained control on the game which looked equal till half time with a 0-0 score line. But in the second half, Netherlands scored 2 goals from PCs and took the match and the eluding Gold Medal away from Luciana AYMAR and her team Las Leonas, who have now won 2 Silver and 2 Bronze Medals at the Olympics.
Argentina earned the first penalty corner of the match in the 10th minute; Noel BARRIONUEVO’s flick missed the posts by inches. Luciana AYMAR turned over, ran past the defender before taking a reverse, but well saved by Joyce SOMBROEK. In 27th minute Naomi van AS, earned PC for Netherlands, but Maartje PAUMEN’s direct flick was blocked by veteran PEREZ RODRIGUEZ.
Otherwise, resilient, calm and confident defensive line of Argentina, gifted away a PC in the last minute of 1st half, but Maria Florencia MUTIO did an awesome job by not only keeping the flick away, but also covered the post from the shot on rebound. In equally fought score-less first half, both teams had 3 shots on the goal, but none could score.
Keen on restarting the game ASAP after the lemon break, both the teams were early on the pitch, and matched each-other quite well. But it turned to be a defining moment, when umpire missed to see the foot of Netherlands just outside the Argentine quarter, and allowed the game to carry on, which earned the PC for the Netherlands in the 10th minute into 2nd half. MUTIO, the Argentine goalie, stopped the flick of Eva de GOEDE once again but could not save Carlien Dirkse van den HEUVEL’s shot on rebound and the Dutch earned the lead (1-0).
Josefina SROUGA earned a PC for Argentina in 47th minute, but Netherlands saved it successfully, and launched fast counter attack. Though they could not make maximum use of the counter move, but they got the control of the game and earned another PC with 17” to go. Once again, Argentine goalie stood in between the posts and ball when Maartje PAUMEN tried to put the ball in the net after a pleasing 1-touch pass combination. The very next minute, Netherlands earned one more PC, in which PAUMEN hit the roof of net with powerful and perfectly placed flick to make it 2-0. Argentina played for an equalizer but the Dutch women did not really allow any free movement to Argentine to get control of the game.
Hosts Great Britain scored 3 goals from 3 PCs in the span of 18 minutes to take 3-0 lead with 7 minutes remaining in regulation time, though New Zealand pulled one in 68th minute, it proved to be too little and too late. Alex DANSON, Crista CULLEN and Sarah THOMAS scored for the hosts in 45th, 59th and 63rd minute respectively.