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Britain derail Argentina; Australia cruise PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 August 2008

BEIJING, Aug 12 ( - Argentina suffered a setback in their quest for a semi-final slot in Olympic women's hockey when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Britain in a pool B match on Tuesday.

Former champions Australia stayed on course for a place in the last four from pool A after rallying from one goal down to thump Spain 6-1 for their second win.

World number two Argentina, shooting for a first Olympic gold, allowed Britain to rally back from a two-goal deficit after a yellow card suspension had reduced the favourites to 10 players for nearly 10 minutes in the second half.

"It made a very big difference. It spoiled our strategy and we were caught between attacking and defending," Argentinean coach Gabriel Minadeo said through an interpreter.

The stumble meant back-to-back drawn results for Argentina, bronze medallists four years ago and favourites for the crown after winning the recent Champions Trophy.

They were held 2-2 by the United States on Sunday.

Agustina Garcia and Alejandra Gulla put Argentina ahead with goals coming from penalty corners.

But Britain applied pressure when the Argentineans were a player short, forcing a series of penalty corners. Sarah Thomas and Mel Clewlow scored for Britain, who were beaten 5-1 by Germany in their opening game.

"We had a good debrief (after the previous defeat)," Britain's coach Danny Kerry said. "Had we lost today, then I think it would have difficult."

After letting in an early goal, three-times champions Australia hammered six, four of them off penalty corners. Angela Lambert led the way with two.

"Obviously we'd liked to have capitalised on some of the opportunities we had earlier. They scored against the run of play which wasn't so good for us," Australia captain Melanie Wells told Reuters.

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