Welsh duo Sarah Jones and Leah Wilkinson saw their dreams of hockey gold come crashing down after Team GB were handily beaten by Netherlands in their Olympic semi-final.
The pair were part of the side that was thrashed 5-1 by the same team they beat in the Olympic final five years ago.
Team GB must now regroup ahead of Friday’s bronze medal match, where they face either India or Argentina, though the manner of the defeat will be tough to take.
But captain Hollie Pearne-Webb has urged the team to put it behind and quickly switch focus to the bronze medal match.
“We have had to show some resilience during this Olympic cycle and now we have to get over this quickly and move on,” said Pearne-Webb, whose match was broadcast live on Eurosport and discovery+.
“We’re a new group of players and we have a medal to play for. We have to get in the right frame of mind for the game on Friday and try and bring a medal home.
“It won’t be easy but we are used to being resilient and it’s our job to focus on that match and try and win a medal.”
Team GB arrived with a score to settle following their 1-0 pool stage defeat to Netherlands.
But as the first quarter progressed in sweltering 34 degrees sunshine, the defending champions started to struggle, with goalkeeper Maddie Hinch called upon to produce a fine save from a penalty corner to keep them level at the end of the first quarter.
Netherlands, who have medalled at every Games since 1992, did not have long to wait for the breakthrough as they took the lead in the 19th minute through Felice Albers.
Team GB needed to regain footing in the match but the Dutch were irrepressible and added a quick second when Marloes Keetels was unmarked in the circle and smashed a low effort into the bottom corner.
Trailing 2-0 at the break, Pearne-Webb tried to rally her side but the Dutch delivered a further blow shortly after half-time when Maria Verschoor flicked a penalty corner past Hinch.
Albers notched her second of the game minutes later by touching in a bouncing ball from the left, before Team GB hit back when Giselle Ansley buried a penalty corner.
But the 2012 gold medallists added a fifth late through Frederique Matla to seal it.
“It was not the morning we planned, yeah we are disappointed,” Pearne-Webb added.
“Especially after how we played in the pool stages against them. We showed we can match them across large parts of the game but we didn’t show up.
“They probably looked at the pool game and how they can tweak things against us. We are disappointed but at the same time we need to get over it quickly because we want to come away with a bronze.
“We need to wait and see who we’re playing, look at today and work out what went wrong and why our basics were a little bit off. And put them right the day after tomorrow.”
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