Great Britain women to fight for bronze after Dutch defeat

Great Britain's women lost their Olympic semi-final to the Netherlands in Tokyo

Great Britain's women lost their Olympic semi-final to the Netherlands in Tokyo - Credit: GB Hockey

Great Britain’s women will fight for a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics after suffering a semi-final defeat to The Netherlands.

The reigning world champions were at their brilliant best in a rematch of the Rio 2016 Olympic final, won by GB, with two goals inside a minute in the second quarter giving them a 2-0 lead going into half-time.

It was a ruthless showing from the Dutch who added two more just eight minutes after the restart to put them firmly in the driver’s seat.

Though Giselle Ansley did pull one back for Great Britain, who included Hampstead & Westminster trio Lily Owsley, Sarah Robertson and Grace Balsdon, the damage had already been done.

And Frederique Matla ended any hopes of a late comeback when netting to seal a 5-1 win which meants GB will contest the bronze medal match on Friday against Argentina or India.

Great Britain's Hannah Martin on the ball against the Netherlands

Great Britain's Hannah Martin on the ball against the Netherlands - Credit: GB Hockey

Hannah Martin said: “We’re disappointed. We wanted to keep it tight for as long as we could but unfortunately those two goals came in quick succession. We knew we could bring it back, but it wasn’t to be today.

“There wasn’t enough sustained pressure, we knew if we could keep getting at them then they would go in, but we just didn’t quite do that. I’m bitterly disappointed but we’ll come out fighting for that bronze medal.

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“We always believe we can get back into a game. We said to take it one goal at a time, we were really pleased with Giselle’s brilliant flick and thought we could get a couple more. But as I said, it was disappointing and it’s gutting to be in this position, but we’ve got to pick ourselves up and fight for bronze.

"No excuses today. They’re a very strong team, we know that, but we’re disappointed to not get a result.”

Goalie Maddie Hinch, part of the gold medal-winning squad five years ago, added: “We need to look at what we got wrong today but also believe that we’re still a good side and that there’s a reason we’re fighting for a medal here – we haven’t done that by luck.

"We just need to believe that we’ll come home with it and not overthink this too much, they’re an unbelievable side who will punish you if you get things wrong. It’s a learning and it wasn’t our day.

“Their goals were world class, and you sometimes have to just say “you know what, they were better than us today and that’s that”.

“We just weren’t quite there. It just wasn’t from any lack of effort; it just wasn’t our day.

“We’ve got to be proud of why we’re here, why we’re fighting for a medal in the first place and believe we can do it. That’s one thing we learned from Rio.

"It’s the power of belief, the togetherness, and the ability for everyone to play their part to get there because whoever we play next, it’s going to be tough.

“Given the whole cycle, Covid-19, a change of coaches, there’s so much this group has been through so the bronze would be massive for us.”

Great Britain's men, who included Hampstead's Rupert Shipperley and Jacob Draper in their squad, suffered quarter-final heartache at the hands of India with a 3-1 defeat.