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Hockey: England women claim bronze
Great Britain’s women won their first Olympic medal since 1992 with a 3-1 win over New Zealand in the bronze medal match.
Britain dominated the opening stages but struggled to create clear-cut opportunities until star striker Alex Danson made the breakthrough when she dived to deflect home a penalty corner.
With the confidence of a lead they began to pour forward as they had in their early group matches, and the pressure finally told on the New Zealand defence.
Christa Cullen then increased the lead with a trademark drag-flick from a penalty corner in the 59th minute, and Thomas replicated Danson’s earlier effort with a deflection from another corner four minutes later.
Stacey Michelsen pulled one back for the Kiwis with two minutes remaining but the celebrations were already under way.
Kate Walsh commented after the match: “The determination of not letting that ball go in, you see it when we give a corner away, and we get in that goal. This ball is not going in. It’s that commitment to each other. I wanted to win so bad, we all did.”
The British women have matched the bronze won by their counterparts in Barcelona 20 years ago.
Gold will be decided later on Friday when Argentina face the Netherlands.
The Women’s Sports Magazine