Friday, August 22, 2008

Dutch women simply too good

Results - Women
Friday 22 August
08:30 11-12 RSA:NZL 4:1 (2:1)
11:00 5-6 AUS : GBR 2:0 (1:0)
18:00 3-4 GER : ARG 1:3 (0:2)
20:30 Final CHN : NED 0:2 (0:0)

A few facts from FIH: Hosts China will play their first ever Olympic Hockey final and will collect their first ever medal in Olympic Hockey. Netherlands are only the second team to reach back-to-back Olympic finals. Before 2008, that feat had only been achieved by Australia, the 1996-2000 Hockeyroos. At Athens 2004, the Dutch went down 2-1 against Germany. The Netherlands will collect a record sixth Olympic medal. So far they have won one gold (1984), one silver (2004) and three bronze (1988, 1996 and 2000).

The Netherlands 2 (Naomi van As 50, Maartje Goderie 63) China 0 H-t: 0-0; Bronze medal play-off: Argentina 3 (Rosario Luchetti 11, Carla Rebecchi 22, Noel Barrionuevo 63) Germany 1 (Anke Kuehn 47) H-t: 2-0.
Classification matches: For 5-6 positions Australia 2 Britain 0 H-t: 1-0; For 11-12 positions: South Africa 4 New Zealand 1 H-t: 2-1.
Final women’s rankings: 1 The Netherlands 2 China 3 Argentina 4 Germany 5 Australia 6 Britain 7 Spain 8 United States 9 South Korea 10 Japan 11 South Africa 12 New Zealand

Germany and Spain bank on mascots

BEIJING, Aug 22, 2008 (AFP) - World Cup champions Germany and Spain go into Saturday’s Olympic men’s field hockey final hoping the coaches put their previous gold medal experience to good use.
Spain’s Dutch coach Maurits Hendriks was with the Netherlands when they won the title at the 2000 Sydney Games, while German Markus Weise masterminded the women’s team triumph in Athens four years ago.
Their wisdom will count as Germany contest their first final since winning the gold medal at Barcelona in 1992 and Spain bid for their first Olympic title after losing the deciders in 1980 and 1996.
“It will be about strategy and how we put that into practice,” said Spanish veteran Pol Amat. “I hope Maurits bring us luck. After all, he knows what it takes to win a gold.” Hendriks, however, stressed the final was not about coaches, but the players.
“This is for the boys, I am just going to sit and watch,” the flamboyant coach said. “The team has done a lot themselves to get this far. They are just a delight to watch.” Spain, widely regarded as the best men’s team not to have won the Olympic gold, will be wary of the Germans who beat them 1-0 in the preliminary league.
“We played badly that day and did not deserve to win,” said Hendricks.
"Germany will be tough, but this is a new day, a new game. We will go in as equals.” Weise, who took over the German men three years ago after head coach Bernhard Peters switched to football, remained wary of Spain despite his team’s unbeaten record in the competition.
“All the good work of the past will be of no use if we do not deliver when it counts the most,” Weise said. “But the team is confident of finishing the job.” Germany, who conceded the world number one ranking to Australia after failing to win the Champions Trophy in June, have won four of their six matches so far and drawn the other two.
The European rivals made it to the gold medal clash by reversing the semi-final results at Athens four years ago when Spain lost to Australia and Germany were beaten by the Dutch.
On Thursday, Spain fought back after being two goals down to upset defending champions Australia 3-2 in a thrilling semi-final, ace striker Santi Freixa scoring the winner two minutes before the final whistle.
Germany beat the Netherlands 4-3 in the penalty shoot-out after the European heavyweights were locked 1-1 at the end of extra-time.
“We have worked hard for three years to achieve this result and now we are close to realising our dream,” said Spain’s Amat. “There is a lot to play for in the final.” Meanwhile, Australia will clash with the Netherlands for the bronze medal earlier on Saturday.
“We need to re-visit our strengths and remind the players of those strengths that made us number one,” said Aussie coach Barry Dancer, who is due to leave the Kookaburras after the Olympics.

Men's semi-finals action