Argentina to clash with Aussies for women's hockey gold
Argentina was assured it's first ever Olympic hockey medal when it's women team thrashed New Zealand 7-1 on Wednesday to qualify for the final against hosts Australia.
Two former champions, Spain and the Netherlands, will
fight for the bronze in a replay of today's super league match
which the Dutch won 2-1.
Australia, the reigning champions and hot favourites,
scored an equally devastating 5-1 win over China to warn their
unfancied rivals of what lay ahead in Friday's final.
Nikki Hudson scored two goals to become the tournament's
leading scorer with six, while Julie Towers, Jenny Morris and
Claire Mitchell Taverner contributed one each for Australia.
But the Hockeyroos, hoping to become the first women's
team to successfully defend the Olympic title, would have
taken note of Argentina's brilliant strikes against the Kiwis.
Vanina Oneto pumped in four goals and Cecilia Rognoni two
as the Argentines ran over the hapless Kiwis in a one-sided
game at the State Hockey Centre.
Argentina were the only team in the six-nation super
league not to carry forward any points from the preliminary
They finished with nine, winning all three second round
matches against the Netherlands, China and New Zealand.
New Zealand, who needed a win to qualify for the final
ended on four points.
Argentina had qualified for their first Olympics in 12
years by defeating the United States in the final of the
Pan-American Games in Canada last year.
Australia had beaten Argentina 3-1 in the preliminary
league, but coach Ric Charlesworth was not taking another
victory for granted.
Argentina's men's team, which failed to make the
semi-finals, cheered the Kiwi demolition from the stands.
Rognoni, who returned to the Games after being suspended
for throwing the ball at an umpire during the Pan-American
Games, began the goal rush in the ninth minute.
Oneto and Karina Masotta increased the margin, before
Tina Bell-Kake pulled one back for New Zealand just before
Argentina dominated the second session, scoring four
goals in a nine-minute burst as the Kiwis wilted under the
The Dutch, meanwhile, rose from the brink to stake their
claim for the bronze after their victory over Spain.
The Dutch were a draw away from elimination after losing
their first two matches to Australia and Argentina.
But the winners of the Champions Trophy in May struck
timely form, aided by goals in each half by star striker Susan
van der Wielen.
Wielen scored the first with a penalty corner seven
minutes before half-time, and then added another in the 63rd
minute by deflecting in a pass from the right.
Sonia de Ignacio earned Spain a consolation goal two
minutes before the final hooter.
Germany, meanwhile, finished seventh with a 2-0 win over
Great Britain in a classification play-off. South Korea were
ninth after defeating South Africa 3-0.
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