Great Britain 3-3 Holland (2-0 pens): Women's hockey team win gold and make history after dramatic shootout
- Holly Webb scored the winning penalty as Team GB won gold
- Team GB went 1-0 up when Lily Owsley got the final touch to turn home
- Holland were level at 1-1 when Kitty van Male put into an empty GB net
- Maartje Paumen took the lead for Holland when she beat Maddie Hinch
- Crista Cullen equalised for GB with a fierce strike past Joyce Sombroek
- Van Male got her second goal after sending Hinch the wrong way
- Nicola White scored to level the final at 3-3 with eight minutes left
Great Britain’s hockey women became the history girls on Friday night when they dramatically snatched the gold medal from world champions Holland.
Outplayed for much of an absorbing match, GB finished strongly with a fourth quarter equaliser to make it 3-3.
That forced a shootout eliminator, with five players each having eight seconds to score from the 23-yard line.
Team GB's women's hockey team celebrate after beating Holland in the final in Rio
Holly Webb keeps her cool to fire past Holland goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek in the final
Team GB's Webb jumps and punches the air after her penalty clinches gold
It is more difficult than its football equivalent, and both sides began with two misses until Captain Helen Richardson-Walsh squeezed the ball past Joyce Sambroek from a penalty stroke after she had brought down Sophie Bray.
After Laura Unsworth fired over on Britain’s fourth attempt heroic goalkeeper Maddie Hinch kept out Margot Van Geffen before Hollie Webb coolly delivered the killer blow by firing past Sombroek to give the underdogs an unassailable 2-1 lead.
Despair for Holland, superpower of the sport, and unconfined joy for the GB women, who became the successors to the victorious men’s team of 1988.
With the sun beginning to set at start time at Deodoro, the least fashionable of the Olympic venues, it was difficult to know who was under more pressure to deliver gold medal. The all-conquering Dutch were favourites while the British team seeking to go where no women had gone before in modern times.
GB's Sophie Bray uses her skill to get past Holland's defence before setting up Lily Owsley
Owsley punches the air as she celebrates taking the lead for GB against Holland
The GB team were bidding to put themselves alongside hockey’s equivalent of the Boys of ’66, the men’s side that emerged victorious in Seoul 1988. The names still trip off the tongue for any self-respecting sports anorak: the likes of Sean Kerley, Imran Sherwani and Steve Batchelor who took their sport to another level of recognition.
Holland, however, have a pedigree all of their own and are not the world’s number one team by accident. They were seeking to become not just their country’ s best ever team but the world’s, going for a third straight Olympic title – something never done before by a women’s hockey team.
The burden appeared to show when they needed penalties to put out Germany in the semi-final, while there was also the spectre of last year’s European Championships final when England – pretty much the same thing as GB – beat them in a sudden death shoot-out.
Kitty van Male takes the ball round Maddie Hinch after a mistake by Kate Richardson-Walsh
Van Male took the ball wide by managed to angle the ball into Team GB's open goal
The sea of orange in the sadly less than capacity crowd told of how important the sport is in the Netherlands, and there naturally appeared to be a slight surfeit of nerves early on.
Aftrer a cagey beginning Holland had the first chance when Sam Quek brought down Lauren Leirink amid a tangle of bodies in the circle and a penalty stroke was awarded.
Up against arguably the world’s best goalkeeper in Maddie Hinch, Dutch captain Maartje Paumen sent the ball high and right but Hinch stretched out a hand to deny them the lead.
Three minutes later Naomi Van As surged through the British defence and had all the time in the world to finish it but was successfully blocked by GB Captain Kate Richardson Walsh, although she did not know much about it.
Maartje Paumen's fierce effort have Holland the lead for the first time in the final
Paumen shows her relief at watching her shot beat Hinch in the Team GB goal
But GB surged straight down the end and after some magical juggling with her stick Sophie Bray poked in a shot and Lily Owlsey was on hand to slot home the rebound.
That was against the run of play and soon GB had Hinch to thank again when she saved a penalty corner strike from the prolific Paumen, scorer of 194 international goals.
The 1-0 scoreline at the end of the first quarter did not accurately reflect the play, and Britain were caught on the break quickly after the restart when Kitty Van Wale was put through and, showing admirable sangfroid, took the ball round to score with a reverse stick hit.
Two minutes later Crista Cullen was sinbinned for rough play. With Holland in their change strip a black tide was now surging at the thin red line of defence and Hinch was soon busy again.
Crista Cullen stretches to get to the ball before her strike beat Joyce Sombroek
Cullen races away in delight after she brought Team GB level in the second quarter
Van Male made it 3-2 when her effort crept past Hinch who was helpless in the GB goal
She was beaten all ends up when Van As hit the cross bar and by now the penalty corners were coming thick and fast. With five minutes until half-time Paumen used Holland’s fourth one to blast the ball past the despairing right foot of Hinch.
Just when Danny Kerry’s team were threatening to be overwhelmed, a rare foray into their half saw Crista Cullen steal in at the far post to take advantage of some terrible marking and put home through Joyce Sombroek’s flailing legs in the Dutch goal.
The Dutch came out again in assured fashion and forced three penalty corners in as many minutes, and a quickfire move found Van Wale unmarked at the post and she swept in from close range.
Continually tormented by the dribbles of and the rangey veteran Van As from midfield there were times when GB were playing the woman, not the ball, as they struggled to keep any kind of possession. GB could be grateful that they went into the final quarter only one behind.
The Holland players celebrate Van Male's goal which put them in a comfortable position
Nicola White levelled the final at 3-3 with just eight minutes of the final quarter remaining
Team GB's players celebrate White's late goal which levelled the final at 3-3
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-3749687/Great-Britain-3-3-Holland-2-0-pens-Women-s-hockey-team-win-gold-dramatic-penalty-shootout.html#ixzz4Hoo6gHsA
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