|August 2nd, 2012|
|17||Pool A||7:00pm||BEL - GBR||0 - 3 (0 - 1)||Final|
Great Britain struggled during a period but ended with a third win despite a strong show from the Belgian team. Great Britain now join The Netherlands at the top of Pool A.
The match started in a Riverbank Arena filled to the brim and graced by the presence of Prince Edward and his wife Sophie of Wessex. Cheered enthusiastically by the home crowd, the British women immediately pushed forward but Belgium continued on the momentum of their excellent match against China and held tight, containing the British players, possibly too eager to score fast.
First real chance was for Nicola White receiving the ball alone in the circle, but she was prevented to shoot by a quick intervention of Belgian goalkeeper Aisling D'Hoogue, playing boldly on the big stage at the tender age of 17. Belgium were shaken around by Great Britain, ranked twelve spots above them in the world, but they were holding well. It is only with two minutes to go in the period that Ashleigh Ball managed to find the ball in a goalmouth scramble to open the scoring for Great Britain.
Great Britain were quick off the blocks in second period and immediately created havoc in the Belgian circle. In the 45th minute, Laura Bartlett received the ball in good position, turned quickly to eliminate three defenders and surprised the goalkeeper to score the second goal for a more comfortable British lead.
The first penalty-corner of the match only happened in the 55th minute after Alex Danson was taken down in the circle, but it was weakly executed and did not produce anything. Belgium were far from beaten though, and were close to score on a rocket from Emilie Sinia that nearly surprised Beth Storry in the British goal.
Great Britain added a last goal on penalty-corner by Crista Cullen and ended the day with a third win which put them on top of Pool A with The Netherlands.
Gaelle VALCKE (BEL)
On their tactics: "After the first half, we did not change tactics because we were only behind 1-0, so we thought if we would try just a little harder we would be okay, but that did not work out."
On playing the host: "It is good to play an experienced team like Great Britain, because we learn from that. We also like to play in this atmosphere, to play the host in a packed stadium, because we need that experience, too."
On their tournament after three games: "At the moment we feel good about our tournament, we got a point that we did not expect. We have two more games to come and I am sure we can win one, we want to get more points, score more goals and win the next game."
Sarah THOMAS (GBR)
On being top of their pool after the win against Belgium: "At this stage, we're happy with a win, but we're working so hard and as long as we go out and play to our gameplan and do the best job we can do then we are happy. When you have support and a crowd behind you like we have had over the last three matches, the goals just keep coming. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves and are taking each game as it comes, but we are ready to face China."
On having captain Kate WALSH (GBR) back on the bench after surgery for a fractured jaw: "Kate is a huge inspiration to us all, a major part of the team and one of the most dedicated athletes I know. So to have her back with us at the village (athletes village) and at a game is fantastic."
On being the only Welsh player in the Great Britain team: "I'm here representing GB and it's great to be a part of that, but of course I'm so proud to be here representing Wales too. The support from everyone at home (Wales) has been amazing and I really couldn't ask for more."
Danny KERRY (GBR)
On their performance: "I felt we were pretty secure, we had a good control over the game. Belgium put more people forward in the second half and we had to organise around that. Considering the amount of possession, we could have done more with it, but in the end we had a good corner from Crista (CULLEN). We are nowhere near where we need to be in terms of our execution. I know that it is not going to be brilliant hockey all the time."
On Laura BARTLETT's goal: "It was a good goal from backhand. Six weeks ago it seemed like she did not have a backhand at all. Because she often ends up in these positions as she gets up and down the pitch, I told her that she needed to take time to work on that; not in our sessions, but on her own. It is good to see that come off and I think that is good coaching."
On the Belgian team: "Belgium has been the fastest improving side in international hockey the last couple of years under Pascal (KINA). They had a draw against China and I saw them beat Germany in Bremen earlier so they are definitely a force we will reckon in the future."
On having Kate WALSH (GBR) back in the stadium: "From the team's perspective, having Kate back out of the hospital is a massive positive and a motivation for the team. We will now try and get things back to normal as soon as possible."
On the semifinals: "We are by no means there yet. We have two tough games coming up against China and the Netherlands. Our main focus will be recovery tomorrow (Friday). We have put ourselves in a very strong position but we still have a massive job to do."
Hilary ROSE, manager. On Kate WALSH's presence on the bench following her facial injury: "We had to tie her to the bench. She had rope burns by the end of the match."
|August 02nd, 2012 at 12:53 pm||Match between Belgium and Great Britain just about to start at the Riverbank Arena in London|
|August 02nd, 2012 at 12:54 pm||Umpires for BEL vs. GBR are Amy HASSICK (USA) and Irene PRESENQUI (ARG)|
|August 02nd, 2012 at 12:54 pm||BEL have so far lost to The Netherlands (0-3) and drawn with China (0-0)|
|August 02nd, 2012 at 12:54 pm||GBR have so far won against Japan (4-0) and Korea (5-3), and stand on top of Pool A with 6 points|
|August 02nd, 2012 at 1:13 pm||GBR are too eager to score fast and BEL are containing them well after 15mn of play|
|August 02nd, 2012 at 1:18 pm||Nicola White has a golden chance alone in the circle but is prevented to shoot by a quick intervention of Belgian GK D'Hoogue|
|August 02nd, 2012 at 1:34 pm||Ashleigh Ball manages to find the ball in a goalmouth scramble and opens the scoring for GBR with two minutes left in the period|
|August 02nd, 2012 at 1:37 pm||One goal lead for GBR at half-time. BEL are holding very well BEL-GBR 0-1|
|August 02nd, 2012 at 1:54 pm||Laura Bartlett received the ball in the circle, turned quickly to eliminate 2 defenders and surprised the GK to score|
|August 02nd, 2012 at 1:55 pm||BEL-GBR: 0-2 with 25 minutes to go|
|August 02nd, 2012 at 2:03 pm||Alex Danson is taken down in the circle. Penalty-corner for GBR.|
|August 02nd, 2012 at 2:05 pm||Weak corner for GBR. Still BEL-GBR: 0-2|
|August 02nd, 2012 at 2:17 pm||Belgium were close to score on a rocket from Emilie Sinia that nearly surprised Beth Storry in the British goal|
|August 02nd, 2012 at 2:20 pm||GBR adds a penalty-corner by Crista Cullen BEL-GBR: 0-3|
|August 02nd, 2012 at 2:23 pm||GBR earn their 3rd win of the competition to join The Netherlands with 9 pts at the top of Pool A BEL-GBR: 0-3|