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Women's hockey: China pip Australia to semi-finals

August 19, 2008 08:22 IST

China will take on champions Germany [Images] and Argentina will play the top-ranked Dutch in the Olympic [Images] women's hockey semi-finals on Wednesday.

Three-times champions Australia [Images] came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with China on Monday but it was not enough to get them into the semi-finals.

The draw meant both teams finished with 10 points, but China, who finished fourth in Athens in 2004, went through to the last four as the second team behind the Netherlands.

"We are disappointed, but China played very well in the tournament and are a very good team," Australia coach Frank Murray said.

Asian Games champions China went up 2-0 through two goals by Li Hongxia.

Australia turned on the heat through some piercing passes and sharp forays and drew one back in the 51st minute when Casey Eastham converted a penalty corner.

Australia, who finished fifth at Athens, equalised at the 62nd minute on a goal by Sarah Young.

China coach Kim Chang-back said the 2-0 lead had given his team confidence they could hold Australia to a draw.

"The defenders relaxed after 2-0, and Australia is a team that exploits a weakness quickly. I am happy we managed a draw," the South Korean said through an interpreter.

The Netherlands, silver medallists in Athens, brushed aside Spain 2-0 in their final group match on Monday to top their group.

Champions Germany qualified as the top team from the opposite pool with four wins when they beat Japan [Images] 1-0 in their fifth and final match.

Argentina beat New Zealand [Images] 3-2 in their final group match to finish second behind Germany in pool B with 11 points.

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