Netherlands and GB set up re-match in women’s Olympic semi-finals

The Netherlands will face Great Britain while Argentina take on surprise package India in the women’s Olympic semi-finals on Thursday following a thrill-a-minute quarter-final day of action.

The Netherlands – the reigning World, European and FIH Hockey Pro League champions – powered to their sixth win on the bounce in Tokyo with a 3-0 quarter-final victory over New Zealand, with Den Bosch’s Lidewij Welten and Frederique Matla along with AH&BC Amsterdam’s Lauren Stam on target as the Oranje confirmed a seventh successive appearance in the medal matches. 

“I’m very happy that we won with the team and got to the semi-finals”, said Netherlands goal-scorer Lauren Stam, who is competing in her first Olympic Games, after the contest.

“Of course, it is really nice to score an Olympic goal as well. I have ‘goosebumps’, as you say in English.  I’m excited about everything [here in Tokyo], about the [Athlete’s] Village, the Olympics; I’m very honoured to play here.”

The Dutch will face Rio 2016 gold medallists Great Britain in the semi-final, with GB sealing their place with a drama-filled shoot-out victory against Spain. As she did against the Netherlands in that famous final in Rio de Janeiro five years ago, goalkeeper Maddie Hinch produced a sensational goalkeeping performance to save all of Spain’s shoot-out attempts as GB won 2-0.   

Earlier in the day, India women produced the performance of their lives to claim a stunning quarter-final victory over Pool B winners Australia, with the team that finished fourth in Pool A now guaranteed their first top four finish at an Olympic Games since Moscow 1980. Gurjit Kaur scored the only goal of the game as India, who finished 12th in the standings at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, ensured their ambition of medalling in Tokyo was kept alive and kicking.  

India’s semi-final opponents will be Argentina, who defeated the much-fancied Germany in the day’s first quarter-final. Goals for Agustina Albertarrio, Victoria Granatto and rising star Valentina Raposo earned Las Leonas a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Die Danas, eliminating the team that finished second in Pool A to march into the semi-finals. 

Across both the men’s and women’s Hockey competitions, teams from seven different nations representing four continents have qualified for the semi-finals here at Tokyo 2020 – India (2), Great Britain, Netherlands, Argentina, Australia, Germany and Belgium.