|August 6th, 2012|
|25||Pool B||8:30am||NZL - GER||0 - 0||Final|
New Zealand reached the semi-finals of the women’s Olympic Games for the first time as they got the draw they needed to qualify in the top two. In the process, they eliminated Germany who will end Pool B in a disappointing fourth place. It was a tie that ebbed and flowed with the kiwis looking to get an early lead to ease their nerves while the Germans took the initiative for much of the middle periods as they needed a big win to have any chance of progressing.
But goals never came despite a glut of chances as Yvonne Frank and Bianca Russell had huge games between the posts. Early on, Charlotte Harrison had a golden chance inside 30 seconds but only found the outside of the post from Anita Punt’s pullback. Katie Glynn was also set free one-on-one but Yvonne Frank timed her dive superbly to nudge the ball away. Harrison’s follow-up went dangerous as the kiwis were unable to capitalise despite being well on top.
Germany came back into the tie, winning a couple of corners while Lisa Hahn, Christina Schuetze, Maeke Stoeckel were all denied by Bianca Russell before the half’s main talking point. Two minutes before half-time, Stoeckel felt she had broken the deadlock, claiming a touch to Mandy Haase’s crash ball that whizzed into the backboard. The video replay, however, was inconclusive and so no decision possible, leading to a free out.
New Zealand continued to live on their wits in the second half as somehow Celine Wilde’s volley went over from less than a metre out from a Keller punt at goal. Krystal Forgesson’s arrowed cross was almost turned home by Glynn but for Frank’s excellent stop before Russell denied Kristina Hillmann and Marie Maevers – in her 50th international.
Julia Mueller had the ball in the net once again from a corner but it was once again disallowed for being too high – a hopeful referral was once again went against the Germans. And as the goal-rush failed to materialise, German efforts became more ragged and less threatening, allowing the kiwis to play out time with few more worries in the closing phases, securing an historic result.
Bianca RUSSELL (NZL)
On New Zealand's success in the tournament so far and their expectations for a medal: "We are thrilled. It's a dream come true. Especially after we have had a very average year. And our record against Germany is not good, last time we beat them in a major tournament was a very long time ago. But we have a great bunch of girls now, we've strung together well. Our coach (Mark Hager) has been pivotal in our success. A medal would be nice, of course we would like gold, but any colour will do. We've had so much support. I think half of Auckland is in London at the moment."
On how Germany played: "Germany has such quality in their players, they have so many threats. You can't shut down one player. They were unlucky I think because they are a very good side. They went into the tournament with such high expectations on them, the pressure was very great. I feel sorry for them. It was a very tense game."
Julia MUELLER (GER)
On the defeat: "It is awful. As you can see, I'm crying. We had to win 3-0 and it was a lot to expect, but it feels really bad."
"We lost the video referral, which hasn't been a good thing for us this tournament. We tried to get both of them as we thought they were both goals, but they were rejected. There is nothing we could do about it, we just had to try and get the ball back again."
On Germany's performance in the tournament: "We had a lot of ups and downs but I think we deserved to reach the semis (semifinals), and now we didn't it is a big disappointment. I think we are our biggest opponents - maybe it is mentally. We have to grow up. The next tournament is waiting."
Emily NAYLOR (NZL)
On how it feels to make it through to the semi-finals: "I'm a bit shocked, to be honest. Pretty excited to find out that we are through to the semi-finals. It's an awesome feeling. The game was pretty tense, everyone was pretty nervous, but we fought it out and we are happy to have the draw."
On what the feeling was before the match: "Everyone was pretty quiet before the game. Everyone knew that it was such a big game for us and that we had to draw or win to go through to the semi-finals, so everyone was very nervous, especially playing against Germany, who we don't normally have good results against. We have had a few losses against them so it was always going to be a tough match."
|August 06th, 2012 at 2:15 am||We're 15 minutes away from the start of judgement day in the women's groups with three semi-final places still available!|
|August 06th, 2012 at 2:17 am||First up is New Zealand vs Germany at 8.30am; a win for NZ sees them through to the final four|
|August 06th, 2012 at 2:18 am||For Germany, the tale is more complex. They need a win for any chance but would have to wait on the Australia v Argentina game|
|August 06th, 2012 at 2:22 am||Marie Maevers receives her 50th international cap as part of the pre-game preliminaries|
|August 06th, 2012 at 2:31 am||C Harrison hits the post just 30 seconds in, big moment already as Punt creates a great chance, NZ 0 GER 0|
|August 06th, 2012 at 2:45 am||15 minutes in, New Zealand have had two huge chances to take the lead and a corner slip wide but no goal as yet, NZ 0 GER 0|
|August 06th, 2012 at 2:59 am||Germany now on the front foot; Stoeckel and Hahn both denied by Russell from close range, NZ 0 GER 0, 30mins|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:07 am||Stoeckel claims a goal, a possible touch to Haase's hit; lengthy video referral says "no advice possible" so no goal, NZ 0 GER 0|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:10 am||Half-time, New Zealand 0 Germany 0; big debate about Stoeckel's referral but too close to call!|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:31 am||Incredible that this one has stayed scoreless this long, Frank and Russell pulling off all sorts of saves, NZ 0 GER 0, 46mins|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:37 am||Germany find the net but its high from a penalty corner and disallowed, they refer and their appeal is turned down, NZ 0 GER 0|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:48 am||Mueller gets a green card to reduce Germany to ten players, NZ 0 GER 0, 58mins|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:54 am||Mueller gets a yellow card this time! NZ 0 GER 0, 64mins|
|August 06th, 2012 at 3:56 am||NZ have absorbed so much pressure in this half, they almost nick a huge goal but Finlayson smashes wide, NZ 0 GER 0, 66mins|
|August 06th, 2012 at 4:01 am||Final score: New Zealand 0 Germany 0; the result is enough to put the kiwis through to the semi finals for the first time!!!|
|August 06th, 2012 at 4:03 am||Germany bow out of medal contention and end fourth in the group; New Zealand ecstatic at their historic moment!|