|August 8th, 2012|
|34||SF||8:00pm||ARG - GBR||2 - 1 (2 - 0)||Final|
Argentina kept alive their dream of a maiden Olympic gold medal as first half goals from Noel Barrionuevo and Carla Rebecchi proved just enough to dash Great Britain’s hopes of home glory. The hosts threw everything they had at the south Americans in the second half but they lacked the finishing finesse to complete one of their numerous chances, Alex Danson’s goal finally coming with just five minutes left but with not enough time left to effect an equaliser.
The raucous atmosphere was at its peak in front of a star-studded audience that featured Dame Kelly Holmes and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. They witnessed an intense battle with few quarters given and plenty of bruises likely to be felt in the aftermath.
Argentina were 2-0 up at the break as Barrionuevo scored from the half’s only penalty corner in the fifth minute, awarded after Josefina Sruoga’s piece of trickery. The second came just before the break when Luciana Aymar cruised around a string of would-be tacklers on the left sideline.
She laid the ball through to Carla Rebecchi who had too much pace for the last defender and tricked Beth Storry on the baseline with minimal room to manouvere. The goalkeeper collided with the striker who incredibly managed to take the ball around eyes on the ball and enough balance to poke the ball home. GB argued long and hard for what they felt was an infringement on halfway but the umpire waved away referral calls, the recourse to video only allowed for incidents inside the 25.
Aymar, for the most part, was double-teamed but she managed to cut loose on a number of occasions. For Britain, they enjoyed decent possession and Alex Danson clattered the outside of the goal on her reverse. Into the second half, GB upped their level considerably and began to find some joy.
Crista Cullen saw her one drag-flick shot blocked away by Macarena Rodriguez Perez but other efforts from Ashleigh Ball, Hannah Macleod and Helen Richardson were snatched at and went a begging without testing Florencia Mutio.
Richardson did pick out Danson with a pin-point cross and the diminutive striker slid in perfectly to guide home and raise the noise levels ever further. But no last chance came to level came as Argentina played it smart and could have killed the tie off from a couple of break-outs.
But the final berth was secure, setting up a repeat of the 2010 World Cup in Rosario with Aymar assured of a fourth Olympic medal.
Carlos RETEGUI (ARG) - coach
On his views of Argentina's semi-final victory against Great Britain: "We had a good first half and scored two goals. We played the second half with strength and conviction. I knew that Great Britain was going to press us and I knew that our girls had the confidence to resist that press and I'm very proud of them."
On taking on Netherlands in Friday's final: "It's going to be hockey's 'El Classico'. In the past few years Argentina has played Netherlands many times and set the standard of hockey for the past few years. I just hope we see the best match in history. It would be great to do it in London, because we have a great stadium and the crowd are brilliant."
Danny KERRY (GBR) - coach
On the difference between winning and losing, and pride and disappointment: "I'm very proud of what we did tonight. I felt, in the second half at least, we were the dominant side. I thought Argentina offered little other than a bit of a dribble and we outplayed them. The reason for not winning was the half-chances and not converting the opportunity, but I couldn't have asked more from the girls. They executed superbly on what we were trying to do and I felt that Argentina were really just defending, and not offering much other than that, but they did that well. Just an overwhelming sense of pride in how well the girls played and just bitter, bitter disappointment that, having played so well, we haven't come out on the right end of the result."
Macarena RODRIGUEZ-PEREZ (ARG) -
On the Great Britain team's performance in the semifinal: "It was a hard game, Great Britain have always been warrior-like, very strong. They always search for their strikers with long passes."
On the Argentina's preparation for the London 2012 Games: "We started on 9 January with the Champions Trophy in Rosario. We have a system of training where we name our training, so the first session is 'plan Rosario', then 'plan Kiwi', lastly 'plan Big Ben'. Just before the London test event, we were preparing our defences and systems of play. We first went to Australia, then the London test event, lastly Washington. We have been moving all about."
On Argentina's expectations for the final against Netherlands on Friday: "It is going to be really hard. Their defence is lethal they have really good strikers and they search for them. They have the best penalty corners of all the teams. It's going to be hard."
Carla REBECCHI (ARG)
On making the gold medal match: "I feel complete happiness that we're in the Olympic final, now we are going for the gold medal."
On the match against Britain: "I think we were much calmer after we scored the first goal and then we scored another which put us in control. In the second half we didn't have as much possession but we defended very well, we hardly let them enter into our circle."
On facing Netherlands in the final: "It is a classic and I'm very happy to be there. We know them very well, we played a lot against them in the last few years, it will be a match a lot like today, we have to play well and give absolutely everything to win."
Anne PANTER (GBR)
On their performance in the semifinal: "We had a performance we can be proud of. It is disappointing not to get the outcome matching that performance. The reason that you see so many disappointed people now is that we really showed the crowd how we can play hockey and it hurts, it really hurts to come out losing when you play like that."
On their upcoming bronze medal match: "The best thing about this team is its spirit and we are going to come out on Friday against New Zealand. It is an Olympic bronze medal and we don't want to leave empty-handed. It is not the colour we wanted, but there are so many people out there supporting us so we will play for them."
Laura BARTLETT (GBR)
On the result: "I'm absolutely devastated. We have been training for years for this match. To come away with a loss, we're absolutely gutted. We tried everything to score, we never lost belief in ourselves."
On Argentina captain Luciana AYMAR who she had to mark: "She's just another player, but at the same time we have identified her as a key player, so my job was to not give her any space."
|August 08th, 2012 at 1:46 pm||Second women's semi-final between Argentina and Great Britain just about to start at the Riverbank Arena in London|
|August 08th, 2012 at 1:47 pm||Umpires for ARG vs. GBR are Lisa ROACH (AUS) and Julie Carol METCHETTE (IRL)|
|August 08th, 2012 at 1:53 pm||World Cup winners Argentina qualified as top of Pool B with 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss|
|August 08th, 2012 at 1:53 pm||Great Britain qualified as 2nd of Pool A with 3 wins and 2 losses|
|August 08th, 2012 at 1:54 pm||Argentina is ranked 2nd in the World Rankings, Great Britain is 4th|
|August 08th, 2012 at 1:58 pm||Vibrant rendition of the "God Save the Queen". The crowd is ready!|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:00 pm||Game has started between Argentina and Great Britain!|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:02 pm||GBR are pushing up very high on the ARG defense.|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:05 pm||Penalty-corner for Argentina in 5th minute. Noel Barrionuevo opens the score with a low flick on the post. ARG-GBR 1-0|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:08 pm||It is only the 2nd goal of the competition for Noel Barrionuevo, usually one of the top scorer for ARG|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:09 pm||Carla Rebecchi (ARG) penetrates the British defense on her own and is stopped just before shooting|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:11 pm||The British forwards are pushing hard, but Florencia Mutio in the Argentinean goal has not seen the ball yet|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:14 pm||15 minutes gone in the match. Still ARG-GBR 1-0|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:21 pm||There are ten times more photographers behind the ARG goal than behind the GBR goal, where most of the action is (+ the goal)|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:25 pm||GBR put some pressure on ARG but are a bit disorganized once getting close to the goal. ARG keep a solid defensive structure|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:30 pm||Fantastic action by Luciana Aymar along the back line. She lifts the ball over the keeper & bats it towards goal, just too high|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:32 pm||First dangerous action for GBR. Alex Danson tries to squeeze the ball between the post and Florencia Mutio in ARG goal|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:33 pm||Aymar carries the ball in the circle and finds Carla Rebecchi who manages to push the ball in goal amongst traffic ARG-GBR 2-0|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:34 pm||GBR try to argue the goal but it stands. Argentina leads by two goals with 2 minutes left in the period.|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:45 pm||Second period about to resume. Argentina have a 2-goal lead. ARG-GBR 2-0|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:48 pm||Penalty-corner for GBR after Alex Danson's push hits a defender's foot.|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:49 pm||Crista Cullen's flick is stopped by runner Macarena Rodriguez Perez. ARG-GBR still 2-0|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:50 pm||ARG are pushed on their heels at the start of this period but no cigar for GBR so far. Still 30mn to go.|
|August 08th, 2012 at 2:58 pm||Florencia Mutio is kept busier in the Argentinean goal than in 1st period but holds tight|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:00 pm||ARG have a strong defensive line with Mariela Scarone, Silvina D'Elia and Noel Barrionuevo. GBR cannot beat them. ARG-GBR 2-0|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:02 pm||Clock is down to 20 minutes. Argentina still with the 2-goal cushion.|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:04 pm||Another trademark long run for Luciana Aymar who delivers a gem to Carla Rebecchi, but she cannot keep it in play|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:05 pm||Green card for Maria Josefina Sruoga (ARG)|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:06 pm||Luciana Aymar has constantly 2 or even 3 British players on her back as soon as she starts with the ball|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:08 pm||Alex Danson manages to lift the ball for Helen Richardson in the circle with nobody in sight but she cannot adjust her shot|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:09 pm||Great duel between Carla Rebecchi (ARG) and Kate Walsh (GBR)|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:11 pm||10 minutes to go. Still ARG-GBR 2-0. The British fans are getting worried...|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:11 pm||Green card to Luciana Aymar (ARG)|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:17 pm||Alex Danson scores for Great Britain to reduce the gap to 1 goal with 5 minutes to go. ARG-GBR 2-1|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:19 pm||Huge roar accompanies each British player touching the ball. "GB! GB!" screams the crowd. Amazing atmosphere.|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:20 pm||All field players are in the ARG 25m. The last 2 minutes will be red hot!|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:23 pm||Noel Barrionuevo throws away a last ball. Argentina will play the Final and Great Britain will try for the Bronze|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:24 pm||The Argentinean players are dancing with the fans, the British players are devastated, but they fought as hard as they could|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:25 pm||Luciana Aymar will play the Olympic Final on her 35th birthday|
|August 08th, 2012 at 3:27 pm||Olympic Final will be between The Netherlands and Argentina on Friday, a remake of the last World Cup Final|