Team GB beat Netherlands in shootout to win first ever women's hockey gold
Rio 2016

Team GB beat Netherlands in shootout to win first ever women's hockey gold

19 August 2016 / 22:00
Team GB have won their first ever women's hockey gold medal, beating reigning champions the Netherlands 2-0 in a nervewracking shootout.

GB goalkeeper Maddie Hinch stole the show with several crucial stops in regulation time and then denying all four Dutch attackers in the shootout.

Lily Owsley, Crista Cullen and Nicola White scored in the 3-3 draw in the initial 60-minutes, with Helen Richardson-Walsh and Hollie Webb netting in the shootout.

"This is what we dreamed of and now we’ve got it. No-one can ever take that away from us," said goalscorer White.

"We’ve now gone unbeaten through an Olympic tournament, which is unreal. It’s the first time we’ve been to the final, so for us we’re over the moon."

The Netherlands were awarded a penalty stroke in the sixth minute but Hinch in the Britain goal palmed the ball away to keep the score goalless.

Britain had Hinch to thank again, saving after a mazy run into the circle by Lidewej Wilton. And the Netherlands were soon made to pay for the miss, with Team GB going straight down the other end of the pitch to put the ball in the back of the net through Owsley.

The Dutch equalised in the first minute of the second period after another scything run by Wilton set up Kitty van Male to score with a backhand shot.

Britain went behind with five minutes left in the first half after Dutch captain Maartje Pauman's hard strike from a penalty corner found its way into the bottom of the net.

But GB got straight back in the game, with Cullen finding herself free on the right of the circle and confidently slotting past Joyce Sombroeck in the Dutch goal.

Van Male found the net again midway through the third period with another well-worked penalty corner routine, but in the fourth period the Brits equalised once more, with White tucking in after a goalmouth scramble to set up a shootout for gold.
Women's hockey final Rio 2016
Shootout

Sombroek saved the first attempt from Helen Richardson-Walsh and Willemijn Bos failed to capitalise with the first Dutch chance.

The Dutch keeper was again in place to deny Alex Danson, but Hinch was on hand herself to deny Ellen Hoog.

When Sophie Bray was fouled in the circle by Sombroeck, Helen Richardson-Walsh was given the chance to put Britain one up from the penalty spot, which she duly took.

Hinch denied the Netherlands once more with their third shot but Laura Unsworth couldn't double the lead with GB's next attempt.

Margot van Geffen then hit the post for the Dutch, leaving Webb to slot home the winning shot for Britain.
GB win hockey gold
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Coach Danny Kerry said: "It sounds corny but some days you know you’re going to win. Even though we didn’t play very well in the first three quarters but we were toughing it out. But I knew we would come away with the win.

"We know we’re good at shootouts. We have some tough competitors and probably the best goalie in the world in shootouts. As soon as it went there I knew we would win."

Goalkeeper Maddie Hinch said: “Goalkeeping has its highs and lows. You can be a villain, but you can also be a hero in the moment. That was a huge team effort. The Dutch are a fantastic side. We definitely back ourselves in the shootout.

"It helped that the Dutch had a shootout in their semi-final, so that gave me a chance to see what they do, but I basically give myself a gameplan for each player and I execute that and thankfully it worked. Thankfully the Dutch did what I thought they would do."

Nicola White said: “We’ve got a bit of history with the Dutch. Sometimes we win, sometimes they win, sometimes we draw – it’s really even, but the fact that we brought it down to [a shootout]. I back Maddie and I back all of our shuffle takers, so I had really positive feelings going into it."

 

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