|GB just miss FIH Champions Trophy Glory|
|Written by euronews|
Argentina secured their fifth title at an FIH Champions Trophy with a 1-0 victory over Great Britain. It was the first time the Lionesses won the FIH flagship tournament on home soil.
The Netherlands claimed the Bronze medal at the Argentina FIH Champions Trophy. The Olympic Champions defeated Germany 5-4 in a very exciting match. Japan qualified for 2014’s Champions Trophy as they have beaten New Zealand 4-3 in extra-time. In the 7/8 classification match Korea defeated China 3-2 on penalties.
Argentina have won three of four Champions Trophy finals in which they scored the opening goal. They only failed to win the 2011 final losing in a penalty shoot-out after leading Netherlands 3-0.
To sum up the first half it has been a very competitive encounter with both defences remaining solid and breaking up opposition attacking moves. Argentina have had more promising attacks than Great Britain. It was a physical contest where four green cards were awarded, three to Argentina and one to Great Britain.
The Dutch kept on dominating and extended their lead to 3-0 when Lidewij Welten (17’) had a one-on-one with Reynolds. The goalkeeper was able to save her first attempt but was defeated by the rebound. The Dutch stayed on fire scoring the 4-0 after Kitty van Male (19’) was marked poorly in the circle making her able to pick up a great pass coming from van As.
After Kim Lammers failed to add to the Dutch score from a penalty corner the Germans had two promising attacks and succeeded. Maike Stöckel (26’) deflected Fanny Rinne’s penalty corner shot into the goal and all-time record player Natascha Keller scored a stunning goal one minute later.
The German double-strike was a wake-up call for the Dutch who replied immediately with Marylin Agliotti (30’) netting the 5-2. This was the second Champions Trophy match ever with seven goals scored in the first half. The first time this has happened was in the 2009 Bronze medal match as well between Netherlands and Germany.
The second half was not that spectacular until Germany provided another double-strike. Keller (54’) scored another phenomenal goal when she penetrated the circle from the right, waited for the Dutch goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek to react and smashed the ball in. One minute afterwards Stöckel (55’) deflected another penalty corner shot from Rinne into the goal showing the same variation as in the first half.
Germany took control of the match from this point on. They went for the equaliser and substituted their goalkeeper for an 11th field player with three minutes to go. However their tactical change did not reap reward and Germany lost their sixth successive Champions Trophy match against the Netherlands.
Japan had a great start into this match taking the lead in third minute. Akane Shibata was marked poorly by the New Zealand defenders. She won possession in front of goalkeeper Sally Rutherford and left her no chance. The Black Sticks had some circle penetrations afterwards but could not take advantage. Instead Japan could have doubled the lead but failed to score from two penalty corners. However the Winner of the 2011 Champions Challenge scored again when Izuki Tanaki (15’) picked up a ball in the circle netting the first time in her Champions Trophy career.
Japan have held a 2-0 lead only once before in Champions Trophy competition. In the 2007 5/6 classification they have beaten Spain 2-0. New Zealand have won one of three matches at Rosario 2012 after trailing at half-time.
The Blacks Sticks were the stronger side in the second half pressuring Japan until Katie Glynn (41’) has put New Zealand on the scoreboard. They won three successive penalty corners but flicker Clarissa Eshuis was denied at all of them. New Zealand kept going while Japan defended strongly. It seemed as it was only a matter of time until the Black Sticks would equalize. Stacey Michelsen (53’) made the score tied 2-2 when she deflected Kayla Sharland’s penalty corner shot into the net.
Kaori Fujio’s (59’) gave the lead back to Japan against the run of play as New Zealand were dominating the match. However in the 69th minute Katie Glynn secured the extra-time for her team when her penalty corner shot was deflected high into the net. In the 78th minute Rika Komazawa scored the game winning goal securing Japan a spot in 2014’s Champions Trophy.
After Korea had replied thanks to Kim Jong-Eun (19’) they substituted their goalkeepers. Number one keeper Moon Young-Hui came for Jang but wasn’t called into action in the remainder of the first half. Instead it was Korea who scored again after Hong Yoo-Jin (31’) converted a penalty corer variation. The match went into halftime with a score of 3-2 in favor of China.
The ball was very slow at the beginning of the second half as heavy rainfall has occurred and slowed down the game. Despite of the wet weather conditions Korea pressured China and created some promising opportunities. One of them led to their fourth penalty corner in this match which was converted by Kim Jong-Hee (51’). China took their team referral on this decision to check whether the ball was played dangerously in the circle. However, the equaliser was confirmed by the video umpire meaning that China had given away a convincing 3-0 lead.
After the score was tied 3-3 Korea wanted more and put China under pressure. Kim Jong-Hee won them another penalty corner after she was tackled by Ma Wei. The Chinese defender was sent off with a yellow card afterwards. From this point on the match could have gone either way with both teams missing to convert great opportunities.
This was the 4th match at Rosario 2012 to go into extra-time and the second match for Korea who have lost to Japan 3-4 in the Qualification Match 5/8. As nobody scored in extra-time the encounter was decided in a penalty shoot-out. Korea were the lucky winners thanks to goals from Han Hye-Lyoung, Lee Seon-Ok and Kim Jong-Eun.
Photograph: (GB take silver in Rosario. FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek (c))
The EHF wishes to congratulate the European Teams on their performance, Silver, (GB) Bronze (The Netherlands ) and a 4th place to Germany.
Looking back over the past 2 Champions Trophies in Olympic Years you would have to say that the Europeqn teams are very well placed to challenge for the title in London. In 2004 Germany took silver at the Champions Trophy and went on to win Gold in Athens. In 2008 it was Netherlands who took bronze at the Champions Trophy and went on to convert that to Gold in Beijing.