Great Britain skipper Kate Richardson-Walsh admitted her side were chasing shadows at times against their Dutch counterparts on Sunday, but vowed they are still well in contention for a shot at Hockey Champions Trophy glory in London.
Holland won 2-0 at Lee Valley Hockey Centre on Sunday thanks to goals either side of half-time from Lidewij Welten and skipper Maartje Paumen, although Lily Owsley did strike the bar with the scores level during the first quarter.
Giselle Ansley and Crista Cullen also saw a penalty corner shots saved by Joyce Sombroek, but in truth Maddie Hinch was the busier of the two keepers – denying lethal drag-flicker Paumen on more than one occasion.
The result means the British women have just one point from their opening two matches, but having played the top two ranked teams in the world so far, Richardson-Walsh is confident they still have the potential to make it to the gold-medal match.
“We were given the runaround a bit today,” she said. “When you’re playing a quality side like the Dutch, you really have to value possession otherwise you’re going to do a lot of running.
“So we probably got our GPS data up today at least, but didn’t have a lot of outcome with the ball.
“It’s hugely frustrating because we show week in, week out in training that we are good with the ball and have many highly-skilled players that we want on the ball.
“We just need the belief to do that against the very best sides. We’ve played the Dutch quite a few times recently and they are always close games.
“We’ve had some really good results against them recently, but you have to take the opportunities when you get them and reduce the opportunities they have – which we didn’t do today.”
Holland made their penalty corner tally count with both goals coming from the set piece, and having won just two corners of their own during the game and none against Argentina last time out, Richardson-Walsh is under no illusions where they need to improve.
She said: “We do need to work on winning more penalty corners. The team that wins the Olympics time and time again, is the one that is scoring corners.
“We need to win them in order to score them. We’ve got lots of different options there but we need to win more of them.”
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