Host China made the history by defeating Germany 3-2 on Wednesday, and roared into the final of the Olympic women's hockey for the first time, to face world champion the Netherlands.
The sixth-ranked China, suffering a 4-3 loss to Germany on penalty shootouts in first semi-final play in Athens four years ago, came back from 2-1 down and finally took a sweet revenge.
China got the goals from veterans Gao Lihua, Ma Yibo and the youngest player Zhao Yudiao.
Germany's two goals came from Keller Natascha and Janine Beermann.
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.
"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."
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."
In the other semifinal match, the Netherlands upset the second-ranked Argentina 5-2.
The Dutch, the Athens silver medalists blanked Argentina 3-0 at halftime. Both the first two goals came from Maartje Paumen and the third was from Marilyn Agliotti.
Maartje Paumen scored her third in the 47th which gave the Netherlands 4-0 lead. Her teammate Ellen Hoog added another in the 68th.
Argentina, the Athens bronze medalists, got their two goals from Marine Russo and Alejandra Gulla.
China now face the Netherlands for the gold, and Argentina play Germany for the bronze.
(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2008)