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Golden goal gifts Spain 3-2 win over U.S. in Olympic women's hockey
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19:13, August 20, 2008

Nuria Camon (L) of Spain breaks through during the women's classification 7-8 match between the United States and Spain of Beijing Olympic Games hockey event in Beijing, China, Aug. 20, 2008. The U.S. lost to Spain 2-3. (Xinhua Photo)

Spain clinched a golden goal 3-2 victory over the United States and South Korea downed Japan 2-1 in the 7th-10th classification round of the Olympic women's hockey tournament on Wednesday.

The U.S. team enjoyed a 2-1 lead only two minutes to go, but seventh-ranked Spain found the equalizer later from Raquel Heurtas' field goal and forced an extra-time play.

Spain kept attacks in extra-time and Rocio Ybarra found the net with a penalty corner in the 84th minute for the golden goal.

Spain, who ended up with 10th at Athens Games, finished seventh while the United States took the eighth position as against fifth at Atlanta Games.

"It's the best moment of my life," said the golden goal scorer, who was so happy about his first golden goal as well as his first goal since the tournament started.

"We anticipated to be the third of fifth place, but seventh is already good. I hope next time we can do better," he added.

American coach Lee Bodimeade said they would take the failure as a lesson. "We are better because of this Olympics. We need get more goals on board at this level of competition," he said.

South Korea, ranked tenth in the world, got both their goals from Park Jeong-sook in the 12th and 49th minutes, and the fifth-ranked Japan's goal came from Rika Komazawa in the 43rd.

The win put South Korea ninth in contrast to a seventh position in Athens four years ago. Japan, the 2006 Asian Games silver medallists finished tenth, compared to eighth in Athens.

South Korean coach Han Jin-soo said they failed to achieve their semi-final target. "Our players are young. We will strengthen our training and we will get better."

"It's a great pity that we finish No. ten in the tournament and we did not expect that," said Masashi Onda, Japan's team manager, "we will form a new national team for the 2012 London Olympics."

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 44 14 19 77
2 USA 26 26 27 79
3 Great Britain 16 10 9 35
4 Russia 11 14 18 43
5 Australia 11 12 12 35
6 Germany 11 8 9 28
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