Netherlands Holds Onto 3-2 Victory Over Argentina
In a battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 world-ranked teams, it was the top-seeded Netherlands who came out on top with a 3-2 win over Argentina.
The Dutch never gave up the lead, which they began to develop in the first quarter. Lidewij Welten scored early in the first, which was key for the team as the weather conditions started to deteriorate and make it harder to play.
Laurien Leurink scored the second after breaking into the circle with ease and taking the wide open shot that flew past Belen Succi for the 2-0 lead.
Although the wind and rain eased up, the Netherlands did not. They topped another goal onto their tally after Kelly Jonker scored on a rebound after a penalty corner attempt.
Las Leonas were not giving up so quickly despite the daunting 3-0 lead. At the end of the third, Florencia Habif tipped in a goal off a penalty corner shot to finally get Argentina on the board.
With about seven minutes left to play, Argentina had another penalty corner opportunity that Delfina Merino tipped into the goal to cut the Dutch lead to just one goal.
In an effort to tie, Las Leonas swapped Succi out for an extra player on the field. With only a couple of minutes left, the Netherlands did everything they could to take time off the clock and keep the ball out of Argentina’s possession.
They would succeed, ending Argentina’s Olympic run and securing their spot in the semifinals against Germany to continue the quest to defend their gold medal.
"We gave everything we had on the pitch," Argentina captain Carla Rebecchi said. "Sometimes you have to go, and today it was us."
Undefeated Great Britain Tops Spain
Great Britain cruised to a 3-1 win over Spain to pave the way to a semifinal appearance.
Three different players scored for Great Britain in the win, and all came in the first half.
Georgie Twigg got things going when she tipped in a long shot in the first quarter. Before time expired, Sophie Bray chipped a pass into the middle of the circle for Helen Richardson-Walsh who put Team GB up two.
Alex Danson assisted Lily Owsley to end the second quarter with a 3-0 lead.
Spain came out with more aggression and fire in the third, but couldn’t capitalize until the fourth quarter after Gerogina Oliva finished inside the circle to cut the Great Britain lead to two goals.
Still, Great Britain maintained control of the game. They did not let Spain come any closer to their lead and held on to win it.
Great Britain will play New Zealand in the semifinal round.
New Zealand Defeats Australia 4-2
New Zealand put together one of its best games of the tournament to beat Australia 4-2 and move on to the semifinal round.
Right off the bat, the Black Sticks scored off a penalty corner attempt executed by Anita McLaren.
Kelsey Smith added another penalty corner goal before halftime, putting New Zealand at a comfortable 2-0 lead.
Australia picked up the pace and drew a penalty corner in the third quarter. Kathryn Slattery scored to cut the lead to just one goal.
What looked like a glimmer of hope turned into a breakaway from New Zealand. Gemma Flynn and Olivia Merry led the offense in the third with two goals, suddenly putting the Black Sticks up three goals.
Time was not on Australia’s side. As the minutes trickled down in the fourth quarter, the Black Sticks continued to manage the clock. Slattery put one final goal on the board for the Hockeyroos with a minute and a half left in play, but her last effort would not be enough to overcome New Zealand’s lead.
"This team has got so much depth and we're just starting to click," New Zealand captain Kayla Whitelock said. "If we keep playing the way we're playing, believing in ourselves and having the confidence, and executing our game plan, then that's going to get us through to that (gold) medal match."
This will be New Zealand’s second consecutive semifinal appearance. The team made the semifinals for the first time in program history in the London Games. Australia has been ousted from the quarterfinals every tournament since the 2004 Athens games.
For full results of Monday's games, click here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.