Tokyo 2020 (Full Day, 31 July 2021): Heartbreak for Ireland as women’s quarter-finals confirmed; Five wins out of five for Hockeyroos as Pool B closes out



Day 8 (Evening): Olympic debutants Ireland missed out on a place in the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Hockey competition, suffering a heart-breaking defeat to reigning champions Great Britain in the final match of the women’s pool phase.

Following India’s dramatic 4-3 win over South Africa earlier in the day, the Green Army went into the match against the Rio 2016 gold medallists knowing that only a victory – even by the narrowest of margins – would be enough to secure a place in the knock-out stages. However, it was not to be for the Irish, whose Olympic dream ended with a 2-0 loss.

The first match of the evening session saw the Netherlands confirm their status as the winners of Pool A with a 3-1 triumph over Germany, who finished second in the standings.

The line-up and timings for the women’s quarter-finals – which take place on Monday 2nd August – as well as the progression into the semi-finals is as follows. All times are Japan Standard Time (GMT / UTC +9).

Quarter-finals – Monday 2nd August
09:30 – Germany (2nd Pool A) v Argentina (3rd Pool B) – Match 3
12:00 – Australia (1st Pool B) v India (4th Pool A) – Match 4
18:30 – Netherlands (1st Pool A) v New Zealand (4th Pool B) – Match 1
21:00 – Spain (2nd Pool B) v Great Britain (3rd Pool A) – Match 2

Winner Match 1 v Winner Match 2
Winner Match 3 v Winner Match 4

More information about the route to the semi-finals and medal matches can be found at the end of this media release. Additional details about Saturday evening’s matches can be found below. 

Women’s Pool A

Germany 1-3 Netherlands
Just like Pool B winners Australia, the Netherlands claimed a maximum 15 points from Pool A, topping the group thanks to a 1-3 victory over Germany.

Both the Oranje and Die Danas came into the match with 100% winning runs, with the Netherlands ahead in the standings due to a superior goal difference. Even though a draw would have been enough to win the pool, the team clearly went all out to continue their winning streak. Their positivity was quickly rewarded, with Frederique Matla scoring the opening goal just eight minutes in with a deflected penalty corner before the ever-lively Lidewij Welten added a second with a tip-in just before the end of the first quarter.

Germany pulled a goal back in the second quarter thanks to a low penalty corner drag-flick from Sonja Zimmerman, who fired between the legs of Netherlands shot-stopper Josine Koning to rattle the Dutch backboard. It was the Netherlands who had the final say, however, with Welten brilliantly carving out an opportunity for Matla to skip past impressive Germany goalkeeper Julia Sonntag before passing into an open goal.

The Oranje finished the pool phase having scored 18 goals and conceded just two.

“It was amazing, so happy with the win”, said Netherlands captain Eva de Goede. “I think we really played well, really played how we can play. I think we can even play a bit better as in be more consistent throughout the whole game, but very happy with our performance and a great win for us.”

Germany’s Charlotte Stapenhorst said: “That has shown what we need to improve, That’s exactly what we did; we went into the game knowing that Holland’s obviously a really, really, good team and they’re gonna show us what we need to improve. We got that out, and I’m really, really sure that in the next two days we’ll improve that and play our best quarter-final.”

Match information and statistics can be found on by clicking here.

Ireland 0-2 Great Britain
Great Britain proved just too strong for Ireland, a team that started the competition with a victory but ended up unable to pick up the points they needed to progress into the latter stages of the competition. 

The two teams cancelled each other out in the first quarter, but Great Britain came out firing in the second and were rewarded when Susannah Townsend pounced on a loose ball to net from a penalty corner situation. Ireland rallied, but fell further behind just after half time when Hannah Martin – who has been in fine form for GB throughout their Tokyo campaign – brilliantly guided Ellie Rayer’s cross from the right into the net.

Ireland gave everything they had in the latter stages of the game but could not get the breakthrough that they needed, as their participation in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 came to an end.

“We didn’t focus on any of the other games today”, said GB captain Hollie Pearne-Webb. “We knew if we performed well then we’d be absolutely fine. We didn’t look at anything else, we didn’t look at what others needed to do. We knew that if we won, if we get a result and we played well then we’d get a nice quarter-finals spot.”

Reflecting on the competition, Ireland captain Katie Mullan said: “We did ourselves proud, we did our country proud and there’s a number of the girls that probably this was their last international game with us, so emotional in that sense. The end of an era.

“We’re actually history-makers in the sense we’re the first female team in any sport to represent Ireland, so that’s huge for us and I don’t really think that will fully sink in until we do go home and hopefully get a nice warm welcome from everyone at home.

“We always aim high and we always want to break boundaries and the aim was a quarterfinal, so it leaves us hungry hopefully for Paris (2024).”

It was a milestone match for Ireland’s Nikki Daly, who made her 200th appearance for the Green Army.

Match information and statistics can be found on by clicking here.

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Hockey competition continues on Sunday 1st August with the men’s quarter-finals. The first match of the day (09:30 JST) sees recent European silver medallists Germany, who finished second in Pool B, face reigning Olympic champions Argentina, the third ranked team in Pool A. That contest is followed by a mouth-watering clash between Pool A winners Australia and European champions the Netherlands, who finished fourth in Pool B, at 12:00. The winner of the Germany vs Argentina match will face a semi-final game against either Australia or the Netherlands.

The evening’s matches at the Oi Hockey Stadium features Pool B winners Belgium up against Spain, who finished fourth in Pool A, at 18:30. The last match of the day sees Pool A runners up India – the eight times Olympic gold medallists – taking on Great Britain, who finished 3rd in Pool B, at 21:00. The winner of the Belgium vs Spain match will face either India or Great Britain in the competition semi-finals.

Day 8 (Morning): Australia completed their Pool B campaign with a perfect record of five wins from five matches, beating Argentina 2-0 to set in stone their status as pool winners.

Remarkably, it is the first time that the Hockeyroos, who are triple Olympic gold medallists, have finished the pool phase at an Olympic Games with a 100% win record.

A 2-0 defeat proved costly for Las Leonas, who finished third in Pool B behind Spain – 4-1 winners against Japan earlier in the day – on goal difference.

Despite losing against China, New Zealand finished fourth in Pool B and will take their place in the quarter-finals.

In Pool A, India were pushed all the way by South Africa before taking a 4-3 win, moving them ahead of Ireland and into the top four ahead of the Green Army’s must-win clash against reigning Olympic champions Great Britain this evening.

More information about the matches can be found below, with the women’s competition quarter-final line-up being revealed following the conclusion of the evening session here at the Oi Hockey Stadium.  

Women’s Pool B

China 3-2 New Zealand
China came into their match against New Zealand knowing that they needed a big win against the Black Sticks to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals, but their 3-2 success was not enough for a top four finish. Despite defeat, New Zealand’s qualification for the knock-out stages was confirmed, although they had to wait for the outcome of Spain’s match against Japan before knowing their final placement in Pool B.

China were arguably the better team in the first quarter before a yellow card five minute suspension for Liang Meiyu swung the contest in the Black Sticks’ favour, with Ella Gunson scoring a penalty corner tap-in just ahead of the quarter time break. Liu Meng restored parity when she slapped home a second quarter penalty corner before Chen Yang put China ahead mid-way through the third quarter. A fierce forehand drive from Rose Keddell tied the scores at the end of the period, but Liang Meiyu’s 54th minute winner ensured that the points – but not the ticket to the quarter-finals – went to China.

“It’s definitely a pleasure”, said China’s Peng Yang. “We have been facing huge pressure and to be able to win the last game is definitely a pleasure, and we feel excellent with the win. Although we did not proceed to the next stage, ultimately to finish off the competition with a win is definitely the most motivating factor that we can take away from this.”

New Zealand’s Katie Doar said: “China played really well. At critical times we didn’t really do the right things, so I guess we’re just gonna have to reflect tonight. We’ve got a rest day tomorrow, so we’ll definitely learn from that to come out better in our quarter-final.”

It was a milestone game for China’s Wang Na, who made her 100th senior international appearance.

Match information and statistics can be found on by clicking here.

Japan 1-4 Spain
Spain knew that a point against Japan would be enough to book their place in the competition quarter-finals, but a comfortable victory over the Cherry Blossoms guaranteed them at Pool B finish of at least third before the result of the Argentina vs Australia match was known. It was a sad ending for the players and coaching staff representing the host nation, who finished sixth in the pool. 

Japan took a sixth minute lead when Kanon Mori scored from open play, an advantage that they held until mid-way through the second quarter when Laura Barrios ensured that the teams went into half time with the scores level. The Red Sticks kicked on after the break, with Begona Garcia and Candela Mejias on target before Berta Bonastre fired into an empty net three minutes from the end.

It was a brilliant win for Spain head coach Adrian Lock, who returned to the sidelines today after being in Covid-19 quarantine since the start of the tournament.

“We are so happy to have him back, it gives us a big plus on the pitch”, said Spain’s Maria Lopez after the match. “He came back this morning at 5am. We are so lucky to have him as our coach. It was extra motivation for us.”

Commenting on her team’s third successive win, Lopez said: ““I think we are ready. We have been improving in each game, and [here] we scored four goals. It gives us a lot of confidence going into the next game.”

Match information and statistics can be found on by clicking here.

Argentina 0-2 Australia
Australia’s Hockeyroos continued their magnificent Tokyo form by completing the pool phase with a perfect five wins out of five, beating Argentina 2-0 to confirm their status as Pool B winners, with Las Leonas finishing third in the standings due to Spain’s marginally better goal-difference.

There was little to choose between the two teams throughout the contest, although Argentina perhaps had the better of the early scoring chances with Delfina Merino and Agustina Gorzelany both going close. However, Australia’s magnificent defence, which has conceded just once in five matches here in Tokyo, proved to be almost impenetrable. The deadlock was eventually broken by Savannah Fitzpatrick, who stole possession from Argentina’s hugely impressive teenage defender Valentina Raposo before powering a backhand strike against the backboard. The win was confirmed a minute from the end when Emily Chalker bundled home from close range, finishing off a fine attacking move down the right. 

Commenting on winning five from five pool matches and finishing on top of Pool B, Jane Claxton said: “It’s pretty special. I think it’s a new record for (Australian) women’s hockey (to win all five pool matches) which obviously you can’t not acknowledge. It’s not every day that you win five out of five at an Olympic Games. But unfortunately, this is now the business end and that won’t count if we go into a quarter-final and aren’t successful.”

Argentina’s Agustina Gorzelany said: “No one wants to lose and we are angry about this result. We were trying some changes and I think this was the game to try them. These things do happen but from now on we know where we need to get better so we are now focusing on the quarterfinals and getting ready for that.”

Sofia Toccalino reached a personal milestone by playing her 100th international match for Argentina. 

Match information and statistics can be found on by clicking here.

Women’s Pool A

India 4-3 South Africa
Three goals from Vandana Katariya helped India complete their Pool A campaign with an important win over South Africa, a result which keeps alive their dream of qualifying for the competition quarter-finals. The result puts India into fourth place in the pool, but will have to wait until the end of today’s play before knowing if it is enough to progress, with fifth placed Ireland needing to defeat Olympic champions Great Britain to snatch quarter-final qualification away from the Indians.

It was far from straight-forward for the India, who faced a South Africa team utterly determined to end their own competition on a high. Katariya’s fourth minute opener was cancelled out by South Africa’s Tarryn Glasby on the stroke of quarter time, with Katariya restoring India’s lead shortly after the re-start. Erin Hunter restored parity seconds before half time, but again India hit back when Neha established a 3-2 lead. Marizen Marais made the score 3-3 in the latter stages of the third quarter, putting real pressure on India’s hopes of claiming a crucial three points. However, the Indian victory was sealed 11 minutes from the end when Katariya completed her hat-trick.

Match information and statistics can be found on by clicking here.

The hockey competitions at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 take place from Saturday 24 July to Friday 6 August 2021. Both the men’s and women’s competitions featured 12 teams, split into two pools of six ahead of quarter-finals, semi-finals and medal matches. For more information about the hockey competitions at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, visit

Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – Hockey competitions

31 July 2021 – Day 8

Results (Morning)
Women’s Pool B
China 3-2 New Zealand
Japan 1-4 Spain
Argentina 0-2 Australia

Women’s Pool A
India 4-3 South Africa
Germany 1-3 Netherlands
Ireland 0-2 Great Britain

Upcoming fixtures

1 August 
All times Japan Standard Time (GMT / UTC +9)

Oi Hockey Stadium – North Pitch
09:30 – Germany (2nd Pool B) v Argentina (3rd Pool A) – Match 2
12:00 – Australia (1st Pool A) v Netherlands (4th Pool B) – Match 1
18:30 – Belgium (1st Pool B) v Spain (4th Pool A) – Match 4
21:00 – India (2nd Pool A) v Great Britain (3rd Pool B) – Match 3

The quarter-finals, in both the men’s and women’s competitions, will be as follows although the matches will not necessarily be played in this order:

1st Pool A v 4th Pool B – Match 1
2nd Pool B v 3rd Pool A – Match 2
2nd Pool A v 3rd Pool B – Match 3
1st Pool B v 4th Pool A – Match 4

The winners of these matches will play for 1st to 4th places. The semi-finals will be as follows although the matches will not necessarily be played in this order:

Winner Match 1 v Winner Match 2
Winner Match 3 v Winner Match 4

The winners of these matches will play for 1st and 2nd places (gold and silver medals) and the losers will play for 3rd and 4th places (bronze medal)
Pool standings
Men: click here.
Women: click here.

Advisory: FIH CEO Thierry Weil Media Briefing on 1 August, 3:30pm (JST)

After the completion of the Pool stage of the Tokyo 2020 hockey events, International Hockey Federation (FIH) CEO Thierry Weil will hold a media briefing on Sunday 1 August, at 3:30pm (local time) in the Venue Media Centre of the Oi Hockey Stadium. All media representatives accredited for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are invited to attend. No registration is necessary.


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