[img_assist|nid=5427|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=100]LONDON, August 8 – The women’s hockey semi-finals of the 2012 Olympic Games have thrown up matches between serial semi-finalists and teams inexperienced in the medal stages of the Games.
Newcomers New Zealand will be hoping to overturn reigning champions Netherlands at 3.30pm while home side Great Britain face world champions and Beijing bronze medallists Argentina at 8pm.
Overall tournament conversion rates at the end of the pool stage are: 13% for field goal attempts, 21% for penalty corner attempts. Here are some key facts for today’s big games.
Semifinal 1 – Netherlands v New Zealand (15:30)
- Netherlands came from behind to beat Great Britain 2-1 and confirm their place in the semifinals as pool A winners on Monday.
- They were the only team in the tournament to finish the pool stage with a 100% winning record.
- New Zealand qualified for the Olympic semifinals for the first time with a 0-0 draw against Germany on Monday.
- New Zealand have never beaten Netherlands at the Olympic Games, losing all three of their previous meetings.
- New Zealand had never beaten Australia at the Olympic Games prior to London 2012, but beat them 1-0 in their opening pool match.
- Netherlands (53) and New Zealand (40) have had more field goal attempts than any other team.
- Netherlands have converted 10/53 (19%) field goal attempts, New Zealand 3/40 (8%).
- Netherlands have scored more field goals (10) than any other team.
- Netherlands have converted 2/22 (9%) penalty corner chances, New Zealand 6/29 (21%).
- New Zealand have had more penalty corner chances (29) than any other team.
- Only Great Britain (7) have scored more goals from penalty corners than New Zealand (6).
- New Zealand have not beaten Netherlands in 17 matches at major international competitions.
- New Zealand have drawn with Netherlands just twice in that streak, most recently 0-0 at the 2011 Champions Trophy.
- The most recent match between the teams was at the 2012 Champions Trophy when Netherlands won 3-0.
- Kim Lammers, Maartje Paumen and Lidewij Welten scored their goals.
Semifinal 2 – Argentina v Great Britain (20:00)
- Argentina confirmed their place in the semifinals with a 0-0 draw against Australia on Monday.
- They finished level on 10 points with New Zealand, but qualified as pool B winners with a superior goal difference.
- Great Britain lost 2-1 to Netherlands in their final pool match on Monday, but still qualified as pool A runners-up.
- Japan’s 1-0 win against China earlier in the day guaranteed Great Britain a place in the semifinals.
- It is the first time since Atlanta 1996 that Great Britain will contest the Olympic semifinals.
- Argentina beat Great Britain 1-0 earlier this year at the 2012 Champions Trophy at home in Rosario. Silvina D’Elia scored the match’s only goal from a first-half penalty corner.
- Many of the Great Britain team beat Argentina (as England) 2-1 at the 2010 Champions Trophy in Nottingham.
- Great Britain’s conversion rates for field goals (7/23 – 30%) and penalty corner chances (7/16 – 44%) are the best in the tournament.
- Great Britain have scored more goals (7) from penalty corners than any other team.
- Argentina have converted 6/24 (25%) field goal attempts and 6/25 (24%) penalty corner chances.
- The teams have met four times at the Olympic Games, Great Britain winning twice, Argentina once and one draw.
- Their last meeting was a 2-2 draw in the pool stage at Beijing 2008 when Great Britain came back from 2-0 down at half-time.
- Agustina Garcia, Alejandra Gulla scored for Argentina, Sarah Thomas and Mel Clewlow for Great Britain.Great Britain’s last Olympic victory against Argentina was a 5-0 pool win at Atlanta 1996.