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China upset defending champions Germany 3-2 in Olympic women's hockey semifinals
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21:22, August 20, 2008


Chinese hockey players celebrate after making a goal during the women's semifinal match between China and Germany of Beijing Olympic Games hockey event in Beijing, China, Aug. 20, 2008. China beat Germany 3-2 and advanced to the final.(Xinhua Photo)

Hosts China beat defending titlists Germany 3-2 in the semifinals of the Olympic women's hockey here on Wednesday, roaring into the final for the first time.

Suffering a 4-3 loss to Germany on penalty shootouts in first semifinal play in Athens four years ago, China took a sweet revenge this time.

China's head coach Kim Chang-back said it's not the right time for them to be happy, because there's still one match and they should calm down.

Germany took a 4-th minute lead with a field goal from Keller Natascha. After losing three chances for penalty corners, Gao Lihua found the net with a field goal in the 31st minute which evened the score 1-1 for China at halftime.


Chinese hockey players celebrate after making a goal during the women's semifinal match between China and Germany of Beijing Olympic Games hockey event in Beijing, China, Aug. 20, 2008. China beat Germany 3-2 and advanced to the final. (Xinhua Photo)

No more than one minute as the second half started, Janine Beermann's field goal gave Germany 2-1 lead but just three minutes later China's captain Na Yubo scored the equalizer on a penalty corner.

Then the match went on tighter. Though China had more possessions and launched repeated attacks, the goals either flew over the post or were saved by German goalkeeper Kristina Reynolds.

In the 23rd minute, China's youngest player Zhao Yudiao netted the ball which was passed by veterans Fu Baorong first and then Gao Lihua.

As Germany failed to capitalize on their last chance for a penalty corner at the final second, China sealed the 3-2 win.

"It has been a long time since the defeat to Germany. Though we conceded goals first, I'm confident that we are fully capable of scoring goals," said Kim, adding that they were not prepared for a penalty shootout.

The fact that they failed to qualify for the finals at Athens Games gave them a good lesson and rich experience, noted Kim. "We have made the history for China now, and since Asian teams have never won the Olympics, we will try to play our best and rewrite the history of the world."

"No matter whom we play in the final, we will go all out and get the best result," said Captain Na.

German coach Michael Behrmann said China played very well and piled lost of pressure on them. "We are happy to score the first and second goal, but the match kept going and China finally win. For China, there is so big a crowd and a big expectation from the whole nation."

China next faces either Argentina or the Netherlands for the gold medal contention on Friday.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 45 14 20 79
2 USA 26 26 27 79
3 Great Britain 16 10 10 36
4 Russia 13 14 18 45
5 Australia 11 12 12 35
6 Germany 11 8 9 28
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