Netherlands reaches women's hockey final with 5-1 win over Britain

The Netherlands will play in the women's Olympic hockey finals for a fifth straight time at the Tokyo Games after booking an inspiring 5-1 triumph over the 2016 Rio Olympic champion Great Britain on Wednesday.

The Netherlands won silver at the 2016 Rio Games after taking home the top prize twice in a row at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.   -  REUTERS

The Netherlands will play in the women's hockey finals for a fifth straight time at the 2020 Tokyo Games after booking an inspiring 5-1 triumph over the 2016 Rio Olympic champion Great Britain on Wednesday.

The Netherlands took the lead in the first half when Laurien Leurink outsmarted her opponent and her pass reached 21-year-old forward Felice Albers who scored by shooting the ball through the legs of British goalie Madeleine Hinch.

The Netherlands, which won silver at the 2016 Rio Games after taking home the top prize twice in a row at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, doubled the score less than a minute later through a powerful shot by Marloes Keetels.

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The goals dealt a hard blow to the British side, which had not given away much against the Dutch gold medal favourite in the first 15 minutes of the match.

Britain had beaten the Dutch side through a penalty shootout in the final of the 2016 Rio Games that got it the gold medal. In Tokyo, the gap between the two sides was too large for Britain to overcome.

The Netherlands had already scored 21 goals before starting the semifinals while conceding only two goals in its previous matches in the tournament.

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After the halftime break, the Netherlands extended its lead to 4-0 thanks to goals by Maria Verschoor and Albers.

Britain came back a goal when Giselle Ansley flicked in a penalty corner, before Frederique Matla did the same for the Netherlands, settling the final score.

The Netherlands will next play Argentina or India in the finals on Friday, while Britain will play for bronze.

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