Olympics hockey: GB women lose to Argentina in semi-final

Great Britain's women will play for bronze after missing out on the hockey gold medal match with a 2-1 loss to Argentina at the Riverbank Arena.

World champions Argentina went ahead through a penalty corner in the sixth minute and Carla Rebecchi got the crucial second just before the break.

Alex Danson got one back on 65 minutes but there was not enough time to break down a strong defence again.

Argentina will play reigning champions the Netherlands in the final on Friday.

The Dutch earlier beat New Zealand in a penalty shoot-out after a dramatic match ended 2-2 in normal time.

Analysis

"Great Britain will be so disappointed. In this situation, if you can come off the pitch knowing that you gave absolutely everything and you just weren't good enough then you can take some kind of comfort in that. 2-0 down against the number two team in the world? It's a tough ask to come back and win it.

"GB gave it absolutely everything in the second half but they just weren't getting it into the Argentine circle and causing problems."

Britain will have to console themselves with a bronze medal match against New Zealand and the opportunity to match the team of Barcelona 20 years ago.

"I thought we were the dominant side in the second half," said GB coach Danny Kerry.

"The reason for not winning was the half-chances, not converting the opportunity, but I couldn't have asked any more from the girls. I felt Argentina were really just defending, not offering much other than that, but they did that well."

Argentina repeated the formula of rock-solid defence and clinical finishing which won them the Champions Trophy final on home soil against Great Britain in January.

They got off to the perfect start with their first attack when Noel Barrionuevo coolly converted a penalty corner.

From that moment on, the task was considerable for Great Britain. They had much of the possession without creating a real shooting opportunity until Danson attempted an ambitious reverse-stick finish on the half hour.

Rebecchi then made them pay when she linked up with Luciana Aymar's surging run down the left and forced the ball into the goal despite a strong challenge from two British defenders and keeper Beth Storry.

The second half was a more positive affair, with Crista Cullen getting an early penalty corner, but it was charged down by Macarena Rodriguez Perez.

Helen Richardson had the clearest chance in open play on 55 minutes when the ball fell to her in space in the 'D', but she snatched at her shot.

With hope fading both on the pitch and in the stands, Danson then gave the whole match a bolt of energy.

She dived forward to convert a fizzing Richardson cross and set up a frantic last five minutes, but the Argentines stood firm to book their place in the final.