Day 12 (Evening): Argentina overcame a magnificent challenge from underdogs India to book their place in the Olympic gold medal match, with 37-year-old captain Noel Barrionuevo rolling back the years by scoring two penalty corner drag-flicks to guide her team to victory.
India – who finished fourth in Pool A but stunned highly-rated Australia in the quarter-finals with a 1-0 win – took the lead inside the opening two minutes when Gurjit Kaur rattled the backboard with a superb penalty corner drag-flick. However, it was the contribution of veteran defender Barrionuevo that proved decisive for Las Leonas, firing her team into their third Olympic final.
Argentina’s opponents in the gold medal match – which takes place on Friday 6 August at 19:00 Japan Standard Time (UTC/GMT +9) – will be the Netherlands, who are now just one win away from being in possession of the World, European, FIH Hockey Pro League and Olympic titles. Fascinatingly, Argentina were the last team to beat the Netherlands, inflicting defeat on the Dutch during their FIH Hockey Pro League encounter in Buenos Aires in February 2020, with the Oranje claiming a 3-1 victory the following day.
The Netherlands booked their ticket to the final with yet another dazzling display at the Oi Hockey Stadium, overpowering Rio 2016 gold medallists Great Britain 5-1 in this morning’s first semi-final. It is a fifth successive Olympic final for the Oranje, giving them a chance to claim their fourth Olympic crown against the team that they defeated to the gold medal at London 2012.
The bronze medal match will also take place on Friday 6 August, with Great Britain and India going head-to-head at 10:30 JST.
Whilst it was the hugely experienced Argentina who ended up taking the victory in this evening’s second semi-final, India were outstanding against their illustrious opponents from start to finish. Gurjit Kaur’s stunning penalty corner drag-flick goal put them into a lead that was perhaps unexpected by many, but one they proved well worth thanks to an excellent first quarter display.
Argentina pulled themselves level when Noel Barrionuevo produced the kind of goal she was famous for a decade ago, sending an unstoppable penalty corner drag-flick rocket to the right of India goalkeeper Savita.
Barrionuevo struck again six minutes into the third quarter, although there was more than an element of fortune about her second goal, which clipped the shinpad of an India player to completely deceive Savita before nestling into the corner. It was Barrionuevo’s 197th international goal in 344 appearances for her country, but few have been as important.
India – who were rarely outplayed by the South American giants – came agonisingly close to equalising with just 20 seconds of the match remaining, as Navneet Kaur guided a deflection towards the bottom left corner only for Argentina goalkeeper Belen Succi to make a brilliant save, kicking out her right boot to put Las Leonas into the gold medal game.
“I think we were prepared to have a match like this”, said Argentina’s Agustina Gorzelany. “We knew that India was going to do their best until the end, they reached the semi-final so that means they are a great team too. But I think, if you look throughout the tournament so far (and the fact the team improved each game), we just needed to win. That was the most important for us. And we did it.”
Looking ahead to the bronze medal match, India captain Rani said: “The tournament is not over yet. We still have a chance to win a bronze medal and we will see what we can work on and go into the match with a different mindset. An Olympic medal is a medal. If you win gold that is nice but still bronze is a medal, so we will fight for that medal and we will focus on the next match.”
More information about the match can be found by clicking here.
Day 12 (Morning): The Netherlands are just one victory away from being in possession of the World, European, FIH Hockey Pro League and Olympic titles after producing yet another dazzling display at the Oi Hockey Stadium, overpowering Rio 2016 gold medallists Great Britain 5-1 in this morning’s first semi-final. It is a fifth successive Olympic final for the Oranje, giving them a chance to claim their fourth Olympic crown.
The Netherlands’ opponents in the gold medal match will be the winner of this evening’s second semi-final between Argentina and surprise package India, which takes place at 19:00 Japan Standard Time (UTC/GMT+9). Las Leonas are aiming to reach the Olympic final for a third time, having claimed silver at both the Sydney 2000 and London 2012 Olympic Games. India’s sensational 1-0 quarter-final triumph over Pool B winners Australia provides enough evidence that they should not be underestimated.
Great Britain made a superb start to the contest and fully matched the top ranked team in world hockey throughout the first quarter, with the defences of both teams impressing before the Dutch took a stranglehold on the game in the second period with two goals in 60 seconds. Rising star Felice Albers slotted home after Laurien Leurink carved open the British defence, with Marloes Keetels smashing home a second with a thumping hit from the top of the circle that gave GB goalkeeper Maddie Hinch little hope of saving.
The Netherlands kicked on further in the third quarter thanks to a sliding penalty corner deflection from Maria Verschoor and a second for Albers, who showed her predatory instincts to attack a cross from the left and guide her touch into the roof of Great Britain’s goal to take the score to 4-0. Giselle Ansley pulled a goal back for Great Britain with a deflected penalty corner before competition top scorer Frederique Matla put the game to bed, netting a penalty corner for her ninth goal in seven matches.
While Great Britain can no longer defend the title they won in 2016, they still have a chance to claim a third successive Olympic medal (bronze – London 2012, gold – Rio 2016) on Friday 6 August when they take on either Argentina or India in the bronze medal match at 10:30 JST.
“England (Great Britain) put a lot of pressure on us in the first quarter and we had to invest a lot of time and energy on creating space for us to play the game that we needed to play and I think we did that very well”, said Netherlands coach Alyson Annan in the post-match press conference. “We welcomed the pressure, which is a very positive thing for us to be welcoming pressure in a semi-final. Once we opened the game up, scored two quick goals in the second quarter we were at our game and played very well for the rest of the match.”
Great Britain’s Hannah Martin said: “We are disappointed. We wanted to keep it tight as long as we could and unfortunately those two goals came in quite quick succession. We knew we could get it back but unfortunately it wasn’t to be today.”
It was a milestone match for Great Britain’s Shona McCallin, who today made her 100th international appearance.
More information about the match can be found by clicking here.
On Thursday 5 August, the men’s Hockey competition at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will come to a climax, with the winners of the bronze, silver and gold medals being revealed. The bronze medal match between Germany and India will be played on Thursday 5 August at 10:30 JST. Germany will be aiming to match the third place finish they achieved at Rio 2016, with India looking for a first Olympic medal since Moscow 1980. The match will be umpired by Simon Taylor (NZL) and Adam Kearns (AUS), with Lim Hong Zhen (SGP) and Jakub Mejzlik (CZE) being the reserve umpire and video umpire respectively.
The men’s Hockey gold medal match will be contested between the two highest ranked teams in the world, with Australia, Olympic champions at Athens 2004, set to face reigning World champions Belgium, silver medallists at Rio 2016, at 19:00 in a dream title match here at the magnificent Oi Hockey Stadium. Marcin Grochal (POL) and Coen van Bunge (NED) will umpire the showpiece match, with German Montes de Oca (ARG) being reserve umpire and Benjamin Gontgen (GER) the video umpire.
The hockey competitions at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 take place from Saturday 24 July to Friday 6 August 2021. Both the men’s and women’s competitions featured 12 teams, split into two pools of six ahead of quarter-finals, semi-finals and medal matches. For more information about the hockey competitions at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, visit https://olympics.com/tokyo-2020/olympic-games/en/results/hockey/olympic-schedule-and-results.htm.
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – Hockey competitions
4 August 2021 – Day 12
Netherlands 5-1 Great Britain
Argentina 2-1 India
All times Japan Standard Time (UTC/GMT+9)
Men’s medal matches – 5 August 2021
10:30 – Bronze – Germany v India
19:00 – Gold – Australia v Belgium
Women’s medal matches – 6 August 2021
10:30 – Bronze – Great Britain v India
19:00 – Gold – Netherlands v Argentina
Final Standings – Men
5 – Great Britain
6 – Netherlands
7 – Argentina
8 – Spain
9 – New Zealand
10 – South Africa
11 – Japan
12 – Canada
Final Standings – Women
5 – Australia
6 – Germany
7 – Spain
8 – New Zealand
9 – China
10 – Ireland
11 – Japan
12 – South Africa