Great Britain branded 'arrogant' after thrashing by clinical Netherlands in women's hockey semi-final

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hockey tokyo olympics live womens semi-final gb vs netherlands 2020 - REUTERS
hockey tokyo olympics live womens semi-final gb vs netherlands 2020 - REUTERS

Dethroned Olympic champions Great Britain took a battering by the Netherlands on the pitch before being hit by a verbal volley off it, with the Dutch players labelling their opponents "arrogant" and only champions in 2016 due to "pure luck."

The Netherlands, the world No 1 ranked team, continued to live up to their pre-tournament favourites tag as they easily swept aside their British semi-final opponents 5-1 to move into their fifth successive Olympic final.

Not only did the victory add to the 1-0 group stage defeat they also inflicted on their rivals but it was also sweet revenge for the penalty shootout loss they suffered against the same team, inspired by Maddie Hinch, in Rio five years ago.

The Dutch are now 45 matches unbeaten and comments made by British players in the build up to the game that their rivals would still be concerned by that Rio loss appeared to touch a nerve.

"They may say it hurts us, but that just gave me energy,” said Margot van Geffen, who also played in Rio.

“I can remember a lot of quarter-finals, semi-finals and other tournaments where we humiliated them. Take, for example, the European Championship in 2019, in which we won 8-0 (against England). That hurts too, don’t you think? You also see today: it was pure luck what they put down in Rio. It’s great that we’re sending them home like this today.”

Dutch captain Eva de Goede was equally scathing of their European rivals. "I think everyone had their own personal reason why we wanted to beat them so badly," she said. “We have the feeling that those girls always have a lot of bravado, almost arrogant. We really wanted to show today that they certainly don’t come near us. I’m glad we were able to play our own game and knock them all out.”

hockey tokyo olympics live womens semi-final gb vs netherlands 2020 - Dan Mullan /Getty Images AsiaPac 
hockey tokyo olympics live womens semi-final gb vs netherlands 2020 - Dan Mullan /Getty Images AsiaPac

Having only conceded two goals in six matches, scoring 21 in the process, it was hardly like the Dutch needed any more motivation ahead of the semi-final. The reigning world champions were at their brilliant best, taking a 2-0 lead into half-time after two goals inside a minute from Felice Albers and Marloes Keetels.

They had two more just eight minutes after the restart, Marloes Verschoor getting a wicked deflection from a penalty corner before Albers added a second.

Giselle Ansley - one of seven players left in the squad from Rio - pulled a goal back with a drag flick from another penalty corner but Frederique Matla put the seal on a fine Dutch performance with a fifth.

“It was not the morning we planned, we are disappointed. Especially after how we played in the pool stages against them," said captain Hollie Pearne-Webb.

“We showed we can match them across large parts of the game but we didn’t show up. They probably looked at the pool game and how they can tweak things against us."

The Netherlands will play Argentina for gold with Britain taking to the pitch to try and beat India, a team they beat 4-1 in the group stages, to bronze.

"We need to park it. There is no time," added Hinch. "There is a reason why we are here, and we need to focus on that. I don't think we should fear it. It would be massive for this group if we get a medal, and believe we can do it. We learnt from Rio that it is the power of belief."

As it happened

03:48 AM

So there will be no gold medal...

...for GB's women hockey stars.

The Dutch were ruthless and whoever of India or Argentina wins the second semi final they will be up against it in the gold-medal match.

Great Britain will have to regroup and focus on getting that bronze knowing that there's no shame losing to that impressive Netherlands side.

I'll wrap up this blog now BUT there's loads still going on in Tokyo so join Charles Richardson as he takes you through the action on the track and, currently, Sky Brown's progress in the skateboarding.

03:37 AM

A gold medallist from Rio tweets

Kate Richardson-Walsh says the side need to regroup and reset as they go for bronze on Friday.

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03:34 AM

Contrasting emotions

Agony for Great Britain

Lily Owsley show her emotion after the defeat - GETTY IMAGES
Lily Owsley show her emotion after the defeat - GETTY IMAGES

Ecstasy for the Netherlands

The Dutch celebrate making it to the gold-medal match - GETTY IMAGES
The Dutch celebrate making it to the gold-medal match - GETTY IMAGES

03:26 AM

Hollie Pearne-Webb reacts to the defeat

Hollie Pearne-Webb - GETTY IMAGES
Hollie Pearne-Webb - GETTY IMAGES

03:11 AM

Great Britain will now fight for bronze

Against either India or Argentina who face each other in the second semi final later today.

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03:08 AM

FULL TIME: Netherlands 5-1 Great Britain

Great Britain will be in a medal match but not the one they wanted. They'll have to regroup after that thrashing at the hands of an impressive Netherlands.

Five years after that remarkable final in Rio the Dutch have their revenge over Team GB.

03:07 AM

4th Q - 59 mins: Netherlands 5-1 Great Britain

The Dutch are starting to celebrate - they've been clinical tonight without ever really hitting top gear.

03:04 AM

4th Q - 57 mins: Netherlands 5-1 Great Britain

The Netherlands break at pace from a Great Britain penalty corner and Hinch is called upon to make a good save.

This game is all but over now.

03:03 AM

4th Q - 56 mins: Netherlands 5-1 Great Britain

It may seem strange to say this, with the score being 5-1) but Great Britain have kept the Dutch quiet for long periods of this match but the Netherlands have been ruthless in front of goal.

03:00 AM

4th Q - 54 mins: Netherlands 5-1 Great Britain

The Dutch have enjoyed 58 per cent possession, in this heat that's a lot of chasing Great Britain have had to do.

02:59 AM

4th Q - 51 mins: Netherlands 5-1 Great Britain

From the penalty corner Giselle Ansley's shot goes just wide.

02:58 AM

4th Q - 49 mins: Netherlands 5-1 Great Britain

Great Britain have a player advantage after a Dutch player sees a yellow card. Hannah Martin earns a penalty corner from which they must score.

02:55 AM

GOOOOOOAAAALLL: Netherlands 5-1 Great Britain

From that second penalty corner Matla gets in a shot which Hinch initially saves only for the ball to creep agonisingly under the goalkeepers body and over the line.

That's definitely game over now.

02:52 AM

4th Q - 47 mins: Netherlands 4-1 Great Britain

The Dutch are seeing most of the ball (again) and they win a penalty corner.

That's a great double a=save from Hinch, but the danger isn't over as the Netherlands regroup and they eventually earn another penalty corner.

02:49 AM

4th Q - 45 mins: Netherlands 4-1 Great Britain

The last quarter is under way, 15 minutes left in this semi final. Great Britain need energy, urgency and, above all, GOALS...

02:48 AM

Giselle Ansley's goal

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02:46 AM

Ace Albers

Felice Albers celebrates her second and the Netherlands' fourth - GETTY IMAGES
Felice Albers celebrates her second and the Netherlands' fourth - GETTY IMAGES

02:45 AM

End of the 3rd quarter: Netherlands 4-1 Great Britain

The Dutch are in control.

Great Britain have just 15 minutes to keep their gold medal hopes alive - it will take a superhuman effort and huge shock...

02:42 AM

3rd Q - 42 mins: Netherlands 4-1 Great Britain

After that bit of GB pressure the Dutch go up the other end of the pitch and keep the ball well.

Pearne-Webb needs some medical attention as it seems she got an elbow or shoulder to the face from Verschoor.

02:39 AM

3rd Q - 42 mins: Netherlands 4-1 Great Britain

There's now more urgency in Great Britain's play - it's possibly too little too late - and they've got another penalty corner...or do they? They don't, it's overturned on referral.

02:37 AM

GOOOOOAALLLL!!! Netherlands 4-1 Great Britain

Sarah Jones shows some drive and determination - she's been GB's standout player - and earns a penalty corner.

They need to score to have the slimmest of slim hopes...

They've scored! Just reward for the work of Sarah Jones as from the PC Ansley scores her first goal of Tokyo 2020.

02:33 AM

Here's the well-worked third

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02:32 AM

GOOOOOAAALL!! Netherlands 4-0 Great Britain

It's turning into a rout now.

The ball is on the left and there doesn't seem to be too much to worry about but Albers gets on the end of a fine reverse cross, just two yards out, and it's 4-0...

GB coach Mark Hager looks glum and it's not hard to work out why...

02:30 AM

3rd Q - 36 mins: Netherlands 3-0 Great Britain

Leah Wilkinson in in the final third but is too ponderous and the Dutch steal the ball. That sums up GB in attack, for all their energy and industry they have troubled to put the Netherlands under pressure.

02:27 AM

3rd Q - 34 mins: Netherlands 3-0 Great Britain

It's another penalty corner for the Netherlands.

Well saved by Hinch, the drag flick was destined for the top corner.

02:26 AM

GOOOOOAAALL!! Netherlands 3-0 Great Britain

Disaster for GB as from the penalty corner Maria Verschoor is unmarked and gets a stick on the shot from the PC and Maddie Hinch can do very little to stop that.

The Dutch are running riot now and it's even harder to see how Great Britain get back into this.

02:23 AM

3rd Q - 30 mins: Netherlands 2-0 Great Britain

Early pressure tom the Netherlands earns them a penalty corner. GB need to keep this out...

Can they keep it to 2-0?

02:19 AM

It's hot and humid in Tokyo

Words we've uttered every day of these Games so far, but Maddie Hinch is feeling the heat.

Maddie Hinch tries to cool down and Oi Hockey Stadium  - GETTY IMAGES
Maddie Hinch tries to cool down and Oi Hockey Stadium - GETTY IMAGES

02:14 AM

HALF TIME: Netherlands 2-0 Great Britain

Goals from Albers and Keetels have changed the complexion of this match. Both goals were clinically taken and, as it stands, it's hard to see how Great Britain get back into this, they've created very little in the final third so far.

They have two quarters left to try and work out how to beat Josine Koning in the Netherlands goal.

02:09 AM

2nd Q - 28 mins: Netherlands 2-0 Great Britain

It's not going GB's way in attack at the moment, they're isolated up front and cannot seem to create a chance.

02:08 AM

The first Dutch goal

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02:07 AM

2nd Q - 26 mins: Netherlands 2-0 Great Britain

Hannah Martin is trying to create some forward momentum, they need a bit of her magic and genius at the moment to get back into this match.

02:05 AM

2nd Q - 24 mins: Netherlands 2-0 Great Britain

Those two goals have changed the complexion of this match. The Dutch are looking composed and are wel in charge now.

02:02 AM

GOOOALL!! Netherlands 2-0 Great Britain

Disaster for GB as Keetels gets in a fine shot that Hinch can do little to prevent finding the back of the goal.

Two goals in two minutes for the favourites and that's what they can do - they've been quiet until now and in the blink of an eye they're two-up.

GB have to retain their belief here...

02:00 AM

GOOOALL!! Netherlands 1-0 Great Britain

Just as I typed 'little goalmouth action' the Dutch swarmed into the GB D on the counter. Luerink has worked the overlap and sets up Albers who hits her shot into the far corner.

01:58 AM

2nd Q - 18 mins: Netherlands 0-0 Great Britain

Hannah Martin does well on the left but the it's the Netherlands' turn to defend well. There's been little goalmouth action

01:56 AM

2nd Q - 16 mins: Netherlands 0-0 Great Britain

It's as you were in the second quarter. The Dutch haven't really got going and GB will be happy with how this match is going so far.

Good defending from Sarah Jones again thwarts a Netherlands' attack.

01:55 AM

Here's that Hinch save from the penalty corner

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01:53 AM

Even-Stevens so far

The Netherlands' Maria Verschoor up against Giselle Ansley - GETTY IMAGES
The Netherlands' Maria Verschoor up against Giselle Ansley - GETTY IMAGES

01:51 AM

15 mins: Netherlands 0-0 Great Britain

The first quarter ends with a penalty corner for the Dutch...

That's a great double save from Hinch, first from the penalty corner then from the follow up. In fact it wasn't a double save from Hinch it hit a defender and it's another penalty corner (after the umpire had indicated a penalty stroke), which comes to nothing.

Good first quarter from Team GB.

01:47 AM

14 mins: Netherlands 0-0 Great Britain

It's still goalless in Tokyo - it's been cagey and evenly matched with no real signs of Dutch domination.

01:43 AM

11 mins: Netherlands 0-0 Great Britain

The aim for Great Britain has to be to keep it tight - the Netherlands are the favourites and the longer it's 0-0 the more pressure the Dutch will feel.

Good start from Hager's side so far as the first quarter nears its finish.

01:41 AM

9 mins: Netherlands 0-0 Great Britain

The Dutch are seeing more of the ball at the moment but GB are defending resolutely.

Owsley wins a penalty corner - first chance for GB to put the Dutch under pressure.

It's not a clean pc and they don't get a shot in on goal.

01:39 AM

7 mins: Netherlands 0-0 Great Britain

It's 31 degrees and 71 per cent humidity in Tokyo - both sides will be up against the conditions as much as the opposition.

It's a bit cagey at the moment with just that one Dutch shot on target so far.

01:37 AM

5 mins: Netherlands 0-0 Great Britain

This has been a good start from GB - they are pressing, they're being positive and there's a lot of energy. They know they're up against a fine side but they're on the front foot at the moment.

As I type that the they're slow to clear the ball and Maddie Hinch makes a good, if regulation save...

01:35 AM

3 mins: Netherlands 0-0 Great Britain

The Netherlands win the first penalty corner of the match. Can they make it count?

They have scored 21 goals in the tournament so far BUT that's a poor penalty corner as the Dutch fail to get a shot on goal.

01:33 AM

3 mins: Netherlands 0-0 Great Britain

The Dutch are in the GB half for the first time, Sarah Robertson gets in a good block - good disciplined defending from Mark Hager's side.

01:32 AM

1 min: Netherlands 0-0 Great Britain

Holly Jones steals the ball and there's a bit of early pressure from GB. Good early signs.

01:30 AM

Colourful language alert

We hear the F-bomb blurted out in the pre-match GB team talk. The BBC commentator apologises, not sure why as surely anyone offended by/who shouldn't be hearing fruity language will not be up and about at 2.30 in the morning?

Anyway, the match is under way...

01:28 AM

Good omen alert

The same umpires who officiated in the Olympic final in Rio are taking charge of this match...

01:28 AM

The teams are on the pitch

And belting out their national anthems.

In the singing stakes it's a great start by Team GB - they get 8/10 compared to the Netherlands' 7/10*

*my ears were the impartial judges...

01:26 AM

Team GB starting side

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01:20 AM

Lily Owsley - ‘We’re building momentum’

Owsley, one of seven players left in the squad from Rio, believes the team are are getting better as the tournament progresses after a build up where they were doubted by many, despite their status as defending champions. The Netherlands are strong favourites but, that doesn’t bother the forward.

"I’m glad we’re playing Holland. We’re here to win and you don’t win without beating the best team in the world. Pressure makes diamonds so we’ll give it a good go and hopefully come away with a result."

Lily Owsley doesn't fear the Dutch - REUTERS
Lily Owsley doesn't fear the Dutch - REUTERS

01:11 AM

Let's not beat around the bush

The Netherlands are big favourites and it's not hard to see why.

They have been at their brilliant best in Tokyo - winning five from five in Pool A before brushing New Zealand aside in the quarter finals. Not only that but they have been scoring goals for fun - progressing from the group stage with a +16 goal difference.

If you're looking for a crumb of comfort for Team GB it's that when they met the classy Dutch in Pool A it was a closely fought match and the women in orange only won by a single goal.

Netherlands' Lauren Lara Jeanette Stam (R) celebrates with teammate Laurien Leurink after scoring against New Zealand in the impressive quarter-final win  - GETTY IMAGES
Netherlands' Lauren Lara Jeanette Stam (R) celebrates with teammate Laurien Leurink after scoring against New Zealand in the impressive quarter-final win - GETTY IMAGES

12:59 AM

Let's go back to Rio 2016

Because as I am sure you all remember that's when Great Britain beat the Netherlands on penalties to win one of the most dramatic of gold-medal matches in Olympic history.

It was 3-3 in regular time and the BBC evening news was delayed so over 10 million could watch as Maddie Hinch was once again the hero as GB beat the Dutch 2-0 in the shootout.

What would Mark Hager's side do for a similar result against the much-fancied Netherlands this morning?

As if we need an excuse - you can warm up for today's semi final with a reminder of that great gold from five years ago...

12:53 AM

How Great Britain made the last four

Hinch and Co finished third in their pool with nine points, suffering two narrow defeats to Germany and the tonight's opponents along the way.

Mark Hager’s side made it to the semi-finals with a dramatic 2-0 shootout victory over Spain after nothing could separate the sides in a 2-2 regular time draw.

Pool A

Great Britain 2-0 Ireland
Great Britain 0-1 Netherlands
Great Britain 4-1 India
Great Britain 4-1 South Africa
Great Britain 1-3 Germany

Quarter finals

Great Britain 2-2 Spain (GB win 2-0 on penalties)

Susannah Townsend, Lily Owsley and Fiona Anne Crackles of Team Great Britain leave the pitch following victory over Spain - GETTY IMAGES
Susannah Townsend, Lily Owsley and Fiona Anne Crackles of Team Great Britain leave the pitch following victory over Spain - GETTY IMAGES

12:26 AM

Maddie Hinch plays mind games with the Netherlands

Maddie Hinch suspects her shootout heroics five years ago may still be preying on Holland's minds after another standout performance kept Great Britain's hopes of retaining their women's Olympic hockey title alive.

The Dutch were unable to find a way past Hinch in an epic Rio 2016 final which went to penalties and Britain were once again grateful for their star goalkeeper after a 2-2 draw against Spain on a hot and sticky night in Tokyo.

Hinch kept her cool in the last-eight clash, saving every penalty attempt while successful efforts from Hannah Martin and Sarah Jones secured a 2-0 victory for Britain, setting up this mouthwatering showdown against Holland, with the winner set for the gold-medal match.

Britain are a much-changed outfit since their success in Brazil - only Hinch and five others who were part of that triumph have made the trip to Japan - and Holland hold an edge after prevailing 1-0 in their group stage meeting.

But as she reflected on the last high-profile showdown between the teams, Hinch said: "It's just an advantage (to us) that it's still in the back of the minds of the Dutch, I'm sure they'll say it's not but it still probably is a little bit.

Maddie Hinch has once again proved herself to be the best goalkeeper in the world  - GETTY IMAGES
Maddie Hinch has once again proved herself to be the best goalkeeper in the world - GETTY IMAGES

"The best bit is we gave them a bit of a scare in the group stages and I think that is also pretty helpful.

"It's going to be tough and we're going to have to look at why we didn't get a result there, what we need to do better because they're going to be better, they'll have learned a lot from that game.

"You know what, we're in the mix. We're just going to go out there and give it our all. We've got people in the group that know how to do it."

Martin put Britain ahead on Monday night with a superb solo goal, jinking past two defenders and then nutmegging Spain goalkeeper Maria Ruiz, but Belen Iglesias equalised towards the end of the first half.

Grace Balsdon lofted into the top corner after the break but the defending champions were once again pegged back as they were unable to clear their lines from a loose ball, allowing Berta Bonastre to lift over Hinch.

Hinch, though, saved from Clara Ycart, Begona Garcia and Georgina Oliva in the shootout to put Britain in the ascendancy. An accidental contact on Beatriz Perez allowed the Spaniard a retake but she missed again.

"I don't feel invincible, definitely not," Hinch added. "I just enjoy them. As a goalkeeper it's a pretty unforgiving position so you might as well enjoy these moments you have, put it all out there and have no regrets.

"I'm quite relaxed - of course I'm a little nervous, I think nerves are a good thing, but I don't feel like I have anything to lose, I'm not trying to prove anything, I'm just trying to do my job.

"As a keeper I think you shouldn't fear them, it's just a chance for you to do your part."

PA

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