Athens, Greece (Sports Network) - Germany won its first ever women's Olympic field hockey gold medal after surprising the Netherlands 2-1 in the final
Although Germany was ranked seventh in the world, they managed to get by the No. 3 team by making the most of their scoring chances. In the sixth
minute, Anke Keuhn converted on a penalty corner for a 1-0 Germany lead. Then in the 20th minute, Franziska Gude made the most of a loose ball in the
circle and scored to put the Germans up 2-0.
The Netherlands got within a goal just two minutes into the second half as Maartje Scheepstra score from in close. However, despite a partisan Dutch
crowd, Germany was able to hold on despite several opportunities by the Netherlands to even the contest.
Mijntje Donner, the captain of the Netherlands had a penalty corner stopped by German goalkeeper Louisa Walter.
"I totally agree that we had the surprise team in our pool," said Germany head coach Markus Weise. "Our pool was slightly tougher with three excellent
teams: China, Argentina and South Africa. We had a very good start, then two defeats, then we just exploded for some reason. We had to beat Korea, who
we defeated by one goal.
"It was a surprise to find ourselves in the semis and then to beat China. We played China 108 times before and maybe 106 ended in a draw."
It was Germany's first medal in the sport since winning silver in 1992 in Barcelona.
"I didn't expect it. I still can't feel it. I haven't realized it," said Germany forward Silke Mueller. "We couldn't imagine we would get so far. We
did a lot of training during the last year and we had confidence that we would make it if we played tougher and harder. We just had to fight."
For the Dutch it was another disappointment. They had won the bronze medal in 1996 and 2000, but haven't won the gold since 1984.
"I don't know why we played like this," said Netherlands defender Minke Booij. "We had many scoring opportunities but we didn't do what we should have
done. We didn't finish off our chances. "We are a very good team but today we didn't show it."
Luciana Paula Aymar scored with under a minute left to lift Argentina to a 1-0 victory over China in the bronze medal match.