Holland 9 Great Britain 2: Deadly Dutch shatter hopes of home hockey gold medal
20:44 GMT, 9 August 2012
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Great Britain's men delivered on their promise to attack and entertain but spectacularly failed in their bid to reach a first Olympic final since the gold medal winners of 1988.
The scoreline hugely flattered the world No 3 side as goals began to rain in after the break as the hosts flatly refused to give up their dream trailing 4-1 at the interval.
But in no way should it reflect on GB's performance or endeavour as they admirably tried to match the Dutch, who are masters at playing an open game, in terms of attacking at every opportunity.
Dutch of class: Roderick Weusthof (second right) leads the celebrations at the Riverbank Arena
All too easy: Holland's Floris Evers scores past Great Britain goalkeeper James Fair
In aiming to copy their heroes of the 1980s they racked up their heaviest international defeat in the process – having previously lost 8-1 twice against Pakistan (2000) and Spain (2011).
They will now face Australia in Saturday's bronze medal play-off in a repeat of their pool encounter, which was an equally-entertaining 3-3.
Holland meet defending champions Germany in the final.
Consolation: Ashley Jackson (second left) is congratulated after scoring for Great Britain
On the run: Harry Martin gets past Rogier Hofman (left) and Robbert Kemperman of Holland
Ashley Jackson and Rob Moore scored GB's goals, with the latter sliding in six minutes from the end to highlight the determination not to give up.
Both GB coach Jason Lee and Dutch counterpart Paul van Ass are devotees of attacking hockey but even they must have been surprised by the first half, played a breakneck speed with barely a pause for breath.
Holland lost midfielder Klaas Vermeulen to a shoulder injury early on following a collision with Glenn Kirkham but that was a rare moment of physicality as the flow of hockey soon took over.
Considering how open the game was it was surprising the first three goals came from penalty corners.
No stopping that: Roderick Weusthof scores for Holland from a penalty corner
Sticking at it: Matt Daly of Great Britain battles with Wouter Jolie of Holland
Roderick Weusthof powered in one flick high, Ashley Jackson responded with a low effort of his own before Weusthof added his second from the breakdown at another set-piece.
There appeared to be no lack of confidence from the hosts, epitomised when Barry Middleton tried an outrageous deflection over goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann with his back to goal from Matt Daly's pass.
Even when a Mink van der Weerden corner crept under James Fair's right hand there was no let up, although the Cannock goalkeeper was forced into two good saves from Teun de Nooijer and Floris Evers.
That ambition bordered on over-confidence and when players were caught upfield Holland launched a swift multi-pass counter-attack which resulted in Billy Bakker converting from close range.
After the break there was an early penalty corner chance for Jackson but as the home side pushed further forward Holland just picked them off almost at will.
Bakker scored twice to complete his hat-trick, while veteran de Noiijer, on his penultimate international appearance after a 16-year career, Evers and Weusthof were also on target.
Surbiton forward Moore slid in a late consolation to give the appreciative home crowd something of their own to cheer.