Olympics hockey: Netherlands beat New Zealand in semi-final

Dutch women's hockey team

Defending champions Netherlands squeezed through to the Olympic women's hockey final by beating New Zealand 3-1 in a shoot-out at the Riverbank Arena.

A riveting match ended 2-2 after extra-time as New Zealand's lead was twice cancelled out by penalty corner goals from Dutch skipper Maartje Paumen.

The first shoot-out in Olympic history ensued, and Ellen Hoog smashed home the decisive strike.

Great Britain play Argentina in the second semi-final on Wednesday.

New Zealand had not beaten the Netherlands in 17 matches at major tournaments but they took the lead after seven minutes from a well-worked penalty corner.

Stacey Michelsen's delivery was teed up for captain Kayla Sharland, whose low shot bobbled into the net.

The Dutch equalised just before half-time from a penalty corner after a mazy run from Lidewij Welten. The ball was flicked around at pace to Paumen, who lifted the ball expertly into the net to equalise with her 122nd goal in her 150th international appearance.

New Zealand went 2-1 up with 20 minutes to play as Krystal Forgesson rounded off a sweeping move with a powerful finish inside the keeper's near post, only for Paumen to level it soon afterwards from another penalty corner.

A 15-minute period of extra-time could not separate the sides, but when it came down to penalties Dutch goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek saved three of the Kiwis' first four efforts.

Naomi van As, Eva de Goede and Hoog all scored to fire the Netherlands into Friday night's final.

"For us it was an advantage as we've already played a shoot-out in big tournaments, in finals," said Dutch player Kim Lammers.

"You can't train these nerves with this audience and pressure. That was an advantage for us today and finally we won."

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