Rio 2016 Hockey roundup | Germany and Argentina play out an 8-goal thriller

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Rio 2016 Hockey roundup | Germany and Argentina play out an 8-goal thriller

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SportsCafe Desk

08/12/2016

Mathias Müller scored a dramatic equalizer as Germany denied Argentina an immediate place in the quarters. Argentina will now play Ireland in their final Pool match for a place in the last 8. In women's hockey, Spain grabbed a surprise win over high-flyers Germany to boost their quarter-final hopes.

Men's Hockey

On a day when the top two sides in Pool A went head to head, it was in Pool B where the real drama unfolded on day six of the hockey competitions at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

European champions the Netherlands (FIH Hero World Ranking: 2) saw off a strong challenge from India (WR: 5) to claim a 2-1 victory over the champions of Asia, guaranteeing a top two finish in Pool B for Oranje. Mink van der Weerden netted the winning goal with a trademark penalty corner six minutes from the end, extending his remarkable record of having scored in each of the eleven Olympic matches that he has played since his first appearance at London 2012.

Despite the defeat, India’s place in the Quarter-Finals is now confirmed as Argentina and Ireland, who currently sit fourth and fifth in the standings respectively, play each other in their final pool match on Friday (12 August), meaning that it is impossible for both teams to overhaul India’s points tally. India play Canada in their final Pool B match, knowing that a win would confirm a third place finish in the pool and set up a Quarter-Final against the team that finishes second in Pool A. 

Ireland (WR: 12) kept their hopes alive with a superb 4-2 victory over Canada (WR: 15), giving the Green Machine their first Pool B points and putting themselves within striking distance of Argentina. Shane O’Donoghue scored a penalty corner in each of the first two quarters, with Peter Caruth making it 3-0 from open play ahead of half time. A double from Canada captain Scott Tupper gave the Red Caribous a fighting chance at 3-2, but a late strike from Michael Darling put the result beyond all doubt to keep Ireland’s dream of reaching the Quarter-Finals very much alive.  

Despite the win, Ireland needed Germany (WR: 3) to do them a big favour by denying Pan American champions Argentina (WR: 7) the three points that they needed to book their Quarter-Final ticket. Die Honamas started the final quarter of the match with a 3-2 lead over Los Leones, but goals from Gonzalo Peillat and Matias Rey turned the contest on its head. However, for the second time at Rio 2016, Germany scored with less than ten seconds remaining, with Mathias Müller firing home a penalty corner rebound to leave the Argentines stunned and the Irish smiling.

For Germany, that point was enough to seal a top-two finish in Pool B ahead of their final pool match against the Netherlands, which will decide which team takes that all important first place to set up a Quarter-Final meeting against the side that finishes fourth in Pool A. For Argentina, a draw or a win against Ireland in their final pool match will see them through to the Quarter-Finals, while a defeat would put the Green Machine into the last eight of the competition.

In Pool A, Belgium (WR: 6) defeated Spain (WR: 11) to continue their 100 percent win record at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, with Cedric Charlier scoring twice in a 3-1 triumph as the Red Lions opened up a three-point lead over the Red Sticks at the top of the standings. Belgium went into half time with a 3-0 advantage thanks to Charlier’s double coming either side of a strike from Emmanuel Stockbroekx. Pau Quemada scored from a penalty corner in the third quarter, but it did not spark a Spanish comeback.   

The final round of Pool A matches take place on Friday (12 August), with Great Britain (WR: 4) playing Spain, Belgium taking on New Zealand (WR: 8) and Australia (WR: 1) facing host nation Brazil (WR: 30). With Belgium and Spain already certain of places in the Quarter-Finals, the remaining berths will be filled by two of three teams: Australia (6 points), Great Britain (4 points) and New Zealand (4 points).

Complete information about the hockey competitions at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games can be found on the official website: rio2016.com/en/hockey.

The Olympic hockey events take place from 6-19 August at Rio’s purpose-built Deodoro Olympic Park, and will feature the 12 men’s and 12 women’s international teams that qualified through the Hockey World League and Continental Championships.

Tickets for both events are still available and can be purchased here.

Day 6 results:

Pool A: Spain 1-3 Belgium.

Pool B: Netherlands 2-1 India; Ireland 4-2 Canada; Argentina 4-4 Germany.

Women's Hockey

Australia’s Hockeyroos claimed a second successive victory on day six of the Rio 2016 hockey competitions, although their fine form was not good news for defeated opponents Argentina, who suffered a third loss in four matches at the Deodoro Hockey Centre. 

The opening women’s fixture of the day came in Pool A, where the previously unbeaten Germany (FIH Hero World Ranking: 9) went down to a surprise 2-1 defeat at the hands of Spain (WR: 14). The Red Sticks scored twice in the opening quarter through Cristina Guinea and Carola Salvatella to establish a 2-0 advantage before Lisa Schütze pulled a goal back for Die Danas in the second period. However, the Spaniards held on for a win which has reignited hopes of a place in the Quarter-Finals. The result moved Spain onto three points, just one point behind China (WR: 7), who currently occupy the fourth Quarter-Final qualification spot but have played one game fewer than the Europeans.

In Pool B, Australia (WR: 3) inflicted a third defeat of the competition on 2016 Hockey Champions Trophy winners Argentina (WR: 2) thanks to a solitary strike from Emily Smith three minutes after half-time. The 1-0 win ensures that the Hockeyroos are now certain to feature in the Quarter-Finals of the competition as they can no longer be caught by either India and Japan, who occupy the bottom two positions in the Pool B standings.

"We definitely needed that win”, said Hockeyroos captain Madonna Blyth, speaking after the match. “After we didn't start the tournament particularly well we couldn't afford to drop any more games. We knew we could win this match but we had to play really well to do it. I think our group put on a really solid performance in both attack and defence."

For Argentina, their dream of gold medal glory in Rio now hangs very much in the balance. Las Leonas currently occupy the fourth Quarter-Final qualification spot in Pool B, but need at least a draw in their final pool match on Friday (12 August) if they are to continue their Olympic journey. Their opponents in that match will be India (WR: 13), who will go into their meeting with the Pan American champions knowing that a win would be enough for them to reach the last eight. 

USA (WR: 5) and Great Britain (WR: 7) claimed fourth successive victories at Rio 2016, meaning that both are now certain to achieve top two finishes in Pool B. Competition top scorer Katie Bam netted twice as USA powered to a 3-0 success over India, while strikes from Lily Owsley and Nic White helped Great Britain overcome strong resistance from Japan (WR: 10) before winning 2-0. The USA and Great Britain will go head-to-head on Saturday (13 August) to decide who will top Pool B, with the winner setting up a Quarter-Final meeting with the team that finishes fourth in Pool A.

Complete information about the hockey competitions at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games can be found on the official website: rio2016.com/en/hockey.

The Olympic hockey events take place from 6-19 August at Rio’s purpose-built Deodoro Olympic Park, and will feature the 12 men’s and 12 women’s international teams that qualified through the Hockey World League and Continental Championships.

Tickets for both events are still available and can be purchased here.

Day 6 results:

Pool A: Germany 1-2 Spain.

Pool B: Australia 1-0 Argentina; USA 3-0 India; Japan 0-2 Great Britain.

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