LONDON (AFP) -
The Netherlands’ players applaud the crowd after defeating New Zealand during the first semi-final of the women’s field hockey match at the Riverbank Arena in London. Netherlands reached the finals of the Olympic Games by defeating New Zealand 3-1 in the shoot out after the score was levelled at 2-2 during the game.
Defending champions the Netherlands won the Olympics’ first ever hockey shoot-out Wednesday to beat New Zealand and reach the women’s final.
After the teams were locked at 2-2 at full-time and after extra-time, the Dutch dominated the shoot-out as they put away three strikes to New Zealand’s one.
New Zealand, in the last four for the first time, were given a seventh-minute lead by their captain Kate Sharland from a penalty corner.
Dutch captain Maartje Paumen replied in similar fashion. It was the first goal in London for the Beijing top-scorer.
Krystal Forgesson restored the Black Sticks’ lead but Paumen produced a near-perfect corner flick into the roof of the net to make the score 2-2.
The Dutch were awarded a penalty corner in the second seven-and-a-half-minute period of extra time, which they tried unsuccessfully to have upgraded to a penalty stroke with a video referral.
When Paumen took the corner, she shot wide.
But the Netherlands didn’t flinch in the deciding shoot-out, which they won 3-1 and will now face either Argentina or hosts Great Britain for the gold medal.
New Zealand coach Mark Hager took the blame for his team’s failure in the shootout.
The Netherlands’ Maartje Paumen (L) reacts after scoring a goal during their women’s hockey semi-final against New Zealand at the Riverbank Arena in the Olympic Park during the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Netherlands went on to win the match 3-1 in a shoot-out after drawing 2-2 in the game.
“We didn’t practice enough. It was not a major concern in our preparation,” he said, adding that New Zealand had never been in a competitive shootout before.
Netherlands have never lost to New Zealand in a world event, which comprises seven encounters in the Olympic Games and World Cups.
Kate Sharland, the Black Sticks captain, praised Dutch goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek.
“She read us well and anticipated our actions. But perhaps we were guilty. All our players basically did the same thing,” she said.
Both semi-finalists are under foreign coaches.
Earlier, German great Natascha Keller set up a goal with her very last touch as she bowed out of women’s international hockey with a world-record 425 caps.
Keller, 35, presented a clear scoring opportunity to Marie Mavers, who gobbled up the chance in the last minute. The 2004 champions beat South Korea 4-1 in the classification match for seventh and eighth place.
Keller also had several scoring attempts but she was unable to add to her 204 international goals, clocked up during her 425 indoor and outdoor women’s hockey appearances.
German captain Fanny Rinne, 32, who won gold alongside Keller at Athens 2004, got on the scoresheet with a low corner strike as she also played her last international.
Lisa Hahn scored Germany’s first two goals, which were split by a penalty corner goal by Cheon Seul Ki.
Keller’s retirement also spells at least a temporary end to the Keller hockey family dynasty, which has collected four gold and three silver medals since 1936.