Hockey: Team GB's women prepare to do battle with Argentina

 

The last time Great Britain’s women played Argentina, two of Danny Kerry’s leading players ended up injured after a bruising encounter.

That was in an Olympic test event, but tonight the teams return to the Riverbank Arena for the real thing as they battle for a place in the final.

Crista Cullen rolled her ankle in the 2-0 win over Argentina in May while Alex Danson damaged her shoulder.

With so much at stake it would not be a surprise if there were a few more casualties tonight, but Britain’s Helen Richardson is not worried.

The midfielder said: “Hockey can be a rough game. They’ll be putting everything on the line, as we will. There’s no ill feeling towards the Argentinians. It will be brilliant. What a stage to go out there and play Argentina in front of 16,000 home fans.”

Of more concern to Richardson is the tactical threat posed by Luciana Aymar, the seven-time world player of the year. The Argentina captain guided her side to a 1-0 victory over Great Britain in Rosario in the final of the Champions Trophy in February. 

“She’s incredibly important to Argentina,” said Richardson. “If she’s playing well they tend to play well. We’ll have a big role to play on her. If we do stop her then it does make our life a little bit easier. However, they’re not just a one man team, they’ve got talent throughout the ranks. We’ll have to play very well to beat them; it’s the semi-final of the Olympic Games.”

Britain have never reached an Olympic final and have been told they must raise their game by coach Kerry after losing their last two group matches to China and Holland and only qualifying because China lost to Japan.

Kenny said: “Being passive in the ­second half [against Holland] was unacceptable. If we’re going to do well in the semis, people have to hear it straight. You can’t butter it up, you can’t hide it. I’ve said it in a constructive way, I’m sure they probably didn’t enjoy it, but if we’re passive in the semi-final it will be no good. I was very measured; it wasn’t a rant.”

There was, however, some ranting after last night’s crunch match between Britain and Spain in the men’s tournament, with the visitors demanding an inquiry by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) after two crucial decisions went against them in the final minutes.

 Spain had to win to steal a semi-final place from Jason Lee’s team, whose 1-1 draw squeezed them into the last four for the first time in 24 years. Each team scored from a penalty corner, Ashley Jackson’s goal being cancelled out by Pau Quemada’s. but it was the four awarded to the Spanish in a dramatic climax that caused all the controversy.

Britain kept the first two out but to their disbelief were initially penalised twice more. Each time they protested to the umpire, who changed his mind after consulting his fellow official. Spain then used their right to a referral but the video umpire ruled against them.

“How is it possible that he changes his decision twice because of protests?,” said Spain coach Dani Martin. “The players are within their rights to protest but the umpire should not change his decision because of it. If the president of the FIH does not give a public explanation of what has happened there will be very serious consequences. We are in a tournament where there are clear favourites and these countries are being favoured.”

Suggested Topics
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little