Dutch win 2nd straight Olympic women's hockey gold
The Netherlands retained its women's Olympic field hockey title by controlling the second half and beating world champion Argentina 2-0 at Riverbank Arena.india Updated: Aug 11, 2012 15:14 IST
The Netherlands retained its women's Olympic field hockey title by controlling the second half and beating world champion Argentina 2-0 at Riverbank Arena.
The Dutch scored off two penalty corners after the break to join Australia as the only three-time Olympic champions.
At the final whistle, the Dutch celebrated with a mass hug in their circle. Eight of the players earned their second straight gold medal.
"I can hardly believe it," one of the eight, midfielder Eva de Goede said. "I had a good feeling from the beginning and we played such a good first half, and the second half they (Argentina) were absolutely nowhere."
Winners of all seven of their games, the Dutch women gave their men's team extra incentive to record the first-ever Olympic double when it plays Germany in that final today.
The women's final between the world's best two teams was riveting for being tight rather than breathtaking until Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel scored from a rebound off de Goede's corner in the 40th minute.
"That goal just had to be scored," Dirkse van den Heuvel said. "We had been better than (Argentina) for the entire game and if you take too long scoring, it only gets more and more difficult, so it just had to happen."
The Dutch turned rampant, and after captain Maartje Paumen had a corner saved in the 53rd for the second time, the specialist didn't miss her next chance a minute later.
Paumen's penalty corner stuttered throughout the tournament, but came good when it mattered. She scored two in the semifinals and her final goal brought her Olympic tally overall to a record 14.
Argentina's storied captain, Luciana Aymar, lived up to her reputation as the best player in the game, but couldn't celebrate her 35th birthday by leading her team to victory in her last match before retirement.