|August 10th, 2012|
|38||Gold||8:00pm||NED - ARG||2 - 0 (0 - 0)||Final||x 2|
The Netherlands painted the Riverbank Arena orange as they emulated the feat of four years ago in Beijing, winning the Olympic final 2-0 having been locked at 0-0 at the interval. That time it was China in Beijing; this time around, Argentina were the victims of a truly dominant performance after the break in London that did the damage as the South Americans could struggled to gain enough possession to cause a threat after an even first half showing could not separate the sides.
Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel put the Netherlands in front with a sharp penalty corner rebound from Eva de Goede’s low drag-flick before Maartje Paumen provided the games enduring image. Goal-less throughout the group stages, she fired two vital semi-final goals and her second killed off any Argentine hope. The manner in which she did it was suitably spectacular, picking out the top corner with a truly thunderous drag-flick. From there, the Dutch were never likely to offer up a lifeline and they played out the closing quarter with the constant support of the orange hordes in the stands.
It left Carlos Retegui and his side devastated after another near miss, their fourth successive medal but the gold still eludes. Among their number was Luciana Aymar whose silver makes her Argentina’s greatest ever-female Olympian and the first woman to medal in four Olympic hockey tournaments. But her 35th birthday will remain a bitter memory as she was consoled at length by her team-mates.
Chances were at a premium in the first half as both sides probed for openings but the two defences were on top for the most part. In a rousing opening, the Dutch did get two early sights, Eva de Goede’s reverse and a Naomi Van As baseline run wreaking havoc with Jonker hovering around in front of Florencia Mutio’s goalmouth.
Delfina Merino and Florencia Habif combined to win the first corner that Noel Barrionuevo fired wide and Rosario Lucchetti reversed over from another decent chance. Late in the half, the pendulum swung back the Dutch direction but they were unable to cash in on either of their penalty corners, charging one Maartje Paumen flick down while her second, on the half-time hooter, rebounded to Van As but her near post shot was comfortably stopped by Mutio.
The second half was more clear-cut, however, as the Dutch earned a string of corners. From the fourth, the Dutch went ahead though Argentina felt they should have had a free in the build-up, arguing at length, though any review was barred as their claims fell outside the 25-metre line.
Dirkse van der Heuvel duly popped in the rebound from the subsequent corner. Argentina did respond immediately, earning their only corner of the half but Silvina D’Elia’s effort was charged down, allowing the Dutch to counter at pace. And soon after, Paumen had her moment, going past Alyson Annan’s prior record of 13 Olympic goals in the most emphatic way possible, taking gold with it.
Naomi VAN AS (NED)
On winning the gold medal:
"I think we saved the best till last. Everybody was saying that we were not playing our top game. I think on our side it was a great game. We dominated the whole game, they had no space, we were on it. We were so aggressive on the ball. Our goal was to be aggressive. Things we didn't do against New Zealand, we did today. It's crazy."
On stopping Luciana AYMAR (ARG) play: "We talked about her but as Max Caldas (coach) said, she is just a human being. We did close the space on her . I think it worked out very well, it was very difficult for them to find spaces. They like to flick the balls along the line. It looked like we had twelve men on the pitch. It was weird, we were watching the boys (Netherlands men) and they played so great, I was thinking we can do that."
On talking with Maartje PAUMEN at half-time: "It was a great feeling. Maartje and me looked at each other at half-time and said we are going to grab this, we are going to do it. It was the same in Beijing, we only scored in the second half. We stayed calm and let the ball do the work. We stayed dynamic, we were moving and kept playing with each other. There was no rush."
Maartje PAUMEN (NED)
On scoring and winning a gold medal: "I told everybody that the goals are coming. I'm so happy with the gold medal and the way we played today, it's really great. We dominated the game and from the first minute we showed everyone in the stadium that we wanted to win this game. I'm proud of the team. Every player on the team played the best game, that's special if you play a final. It's not so easy to play a good final and today we did it."
On the training programme for Netherlands: "We started two years ago with Max and a new programme and we trained three days a week, Monday to Wednesday. Thursday and Friday with our clubs. We trained a lot together and made a lot of sacrifices to do only things for hockey, to live for it for one-and-a-half years. It's great that we've won gold."
Luciana AYMAR (ARG)
On the defeat: "It was a very difficult match for us. Netherlands are a really good team. We did everything possible to win, but it didn't work out. We were doing fine until they scored their first goal. It's a real shame. It's still a silver medal and overall we are very happy about how we've played in this tournament. The team are a sensational group of players and at least we have a silver medal."
On London 2012 being her last tournament: "I enjoyed myself a great deal. My objective was to enjoy it all as much as possible, so it went very well for me personally."
On the squad being very young: "The majority of the girls are very young and have a lot of playing time ahead of them. For that reason, they can play in lots more tournaments in the future."
Silvina D'ELIA (ARG)
On how the match went and winning a silver medal: "I think we didn't really get to play, at times they played better than us. They scored goals when they needed to. At the same time we leave this tournament very happy with the silver that we've won.
"I think in the first half we played well, we couldn't use our penalty corners to make the difference. They had penalty corners, but we defended them and the difference between the two sides came in the second half when they played better than us."
On her assessment of the competition: "We have a very young team. We started the tournament playing not that well and we finished the tournament playing well, defending well as a team. It's shame, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Today it was their turn and I think it was a fair that they were the winners."
On her captain Luciana AYMAR: "The truth is that I am so proud to play with her, she is a great person and a great sportswomen. She is an example for everyone."
|August 10th, 2012 at 1:51 pm||Gold medal match between The Netherlands and Argentina just about to start at the Riverbank Arena in London|
|August 10th, 2012 at 1:51 pm||Umpires for NED vs. ARG are Julie ASHTON-LUCY (AUS) and Lisa ROACH (AUS)|
|August 10th, 2012 at 1:51 pm||The Netherlands qualified for the final by winning over New Zealand after prolongation (2-2) and shoot-outs (3-1)|
|August 10th, 2012 at 1:52 pm||Argentina qualified for the final by wining over Great Britain (2-1)|
|August 10th, 2012 at 1:52 pm||The Dutch have played in 7 Olympics, collecting 2 gold (2008 and 1984), 1 silver and 3 bronze medals|
|August 10th, 2012 at 1:53 pm||Argentina have collected Olympic medals in 2000 (silver), 2004 (bronze) and 2008 (bronze again), but never gold yet|
|August 10th, 2012 at 1:55 pm||The Netherlands are defending Olympic Champion; Argentina are defending World Champion. It does not get better than that!|
|August 10th, 2012 at 1:58 pm||ARG captain Luciana Aymar is celebrating today her 35th birthday. A Gold Medal would be a somptuous birthday present!|
|August 10th, 2012 at 1:59 pm||Vibrant rendition of both national anthems by players and spectators. More than half the stadium is dressed in orange!|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:02 pm||Kelly Jonker (celebrating her 50th Cap for NED) steals a ball and run into the circle but is pushed away from the ball|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:03 pm||The Netherlands are all over the Argentinean circle from the start. ARG avoid a goal from a goalmouth scramble by miracle|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:05 pm||Luciana Aymar is organizing and calming her troops|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:06 pm||Naomi van As works hard to enter the 25, then the circle, but is stopped by Aymar|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:09 pm||Penalty corner for ARG after a Dutch obstruction in the circle with Delfina Merino progressing towards goal|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:10 pm||Noel Barrionuevo's flick is wide. NED-ARG 0-0 after 10mn|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:13 pm||A long ball finds Martina Cavallero behind the Dutch defense. She kicks the ball entering the circle.|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:17 pm||Superb individual skills on both sides!|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:18 pm||Luciana Aymar launches one of her trademark runs over 50m, enters the circle with 3 defenders around her but her reverse is wide|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:20 pm||Period of Argentinean domination. The Dutch cannot get out of their half and commit unforced errors in their passes|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:23 pm||Luciana Aymar is like a conductor, distributing gem balls around her. Superb to watch.|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:27 pm||Play is stopped to attend to Mariela Scarone (ARG) who took a stick in the face...|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:28 pm||10 minutes to go in the period. Still no goal between NED and ARG|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:30 pm||Maartje Paumen's flick on penalty-corner is not dangerous and Argentina escape unscathed|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:32 pm||Domination is on the other side now. Argentina are under intense pressure since 5 minutes. Still 5 to go in the period.|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:32 pm||Green card for Maartje Goderie (NED)|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:36 pm||Naomi van As creates havoc again on the right of the circle. She finds Kitty van Male but her reverse shot is wide|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:38 pm||Kitty van Male is tripped in the circle. Penalty-corner for NED with a few seconds left|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:40 pm||ARG GK Florencia Mutio saves Maartje Paumen's flick in the top corner. Superb save. Naomi van As cannot use the rebound.|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:41 pm||Still no score at half-time between The Netherlands and Argentina. Superb match between 2 superior teams.|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:47 pm||Both teams are eager to resume. They are ready early.|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:57 pm||Play is mostly confined to midfield in the first ten minutes of the period.|
|August 10th, 2012 at 2:59 pm||The Netherlands earn a penalty-corner. ARG argue but don't call a video-referral.|
|August 10th, 2012 at 3:01 pm||Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel slams the rebound in goal after the initial shot by Eva de Goede. NED-ARG 1-0 with 24mn to go|
|August 10th, 2012 at 3:02 pm||Argentinean reaction and immediate penalty-corner at the other end.|
|August 10th, 2012 at 3:03 pm||Noel Barrionuevo tries to avoid the runners but loses the ball without shooting. Score stays NED-ARG 1-0|
|August 10th, 2012 at 3:08 pm||Another penalty-corner for NED: they try a quick exchange of passes but it goes nowhere, except another penalty-corner|
|August 10th, 2012 at 3:09 pm||This time Maartje Paumen slots it right under the crossbar. Unstoppable! NED-ARG 2-0 with 15mn to go|
|August 10th, 2012 at 3:12 pm||Argentina are facing a hard climb now. Two goals down and only 12mn to go.|
|August 10th, 2012 at 3:14 pm||Green card to Silvina D'Elia (ARG) for cross-checking...|
|August 10th, 2012 at 3:16 pm||Argentina seem disheartened. They have hardly touched the ball since The Netherlands scored their second goal.|
|August 10th, 2012 at 3:17 pm||8 minutes to go and the Dutch fans, all clad in orange, are standing and singing.|
|August 10th, 2012 at 3:24 pm||Less than 2 minutes to go in this Olympic Final. The Dutch fans are dancing!|
|August 10th, 2012 at 3:28 pm||The Argentinean players are in tears but go and congratulate the Dutch winners. Superb Olympic final.|
|August 10th, 2012 at 3:31 pm||Luciana Aymar leaves the pitch, possibly for the last time of an illustrious career. Giant athlete!|
|August 10th, 2012 at 3:33 pm||8 Dutch players were already in Beijing.The 8 other now know the feeling of being Olympic Champion!|