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03 Aug 2012
London 2012 , IOC News , Hockey

Knockouts in sight - London 2012 - Hockey

The battle for place in the knockout stages is heating up in the women's Hockey competition.

World number ones the Netherlands continue to frustrate and disappoint in equal measure but a third successive victory in Group A puts them well on track for the semi-finals.

Plenty is expected of the Dutch but they have so far failed to live up to their billing, with all three of their wins solid rather than impressive.

Their match against China was at least settled by a single moment of brilliance when, in the 10th minute, Maartje Goderie brilliantly dribbled her way along the left byline before cutting inside and firing across the goalkeeper and in off the far post.

The Netherlands continued to dominate in the second half but were unable to press home their advantage and this was reflected in their penalty corner statistics which saw them fail to convert any of their nine attempts.

The Netherlands now need a point from Saturday's match with Republic of Korea to qualify for the semi-finals, while Great Britain are also on the verge of a spot after their 3-0 win over Belgium. Goals from Ashleigh Ball, Laura Bartlett and Crista Cullen were enough to secure a win despite a late rally by their opponents.

The Host Nation now require only a point against China on Saturday to be sure of a place in the last four and are still on course to top Pool A.

Australia made it back-to-back wins as they moved into semi-final contention with a 1-0 victory over the USA to go three points clear of their opponents in Group B, while Republic of Korea kept alive their medal hopes with a first win of the tournament, 1-0 over Japan.

Germany bounced back from their defeat to Australia with a win over pointless South Africa, but the 2-0 result was not without the odd scare for the Athens 2004 Olympic champions.

The world number threes dominated for the first 50 minutes as they took a two-goal lead but then they sat back and were almost made to pay, before holding out to win.

In the final game of the night Argentina dug deep to beat New Zealand 2-1 with a couple of goals from Carla Rebecchi.

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