LONDON (AP) — New Zealand reached the women's Olympic field hockey semifinals for the first time by knocking out Germany on Monday with a 0-0 draw, and Britain advanced without hitting a ball when China lost to Japan 1-0.
The surprising New Zealanders, who have come last three times in the Olympics, finished in the top two of Pool B, leaving Argentina and Australia to fight for the last spot in the last match of the day.
The United States lost to South Africa 7-0, putting the Americans at the bottom of their pool. The result was a surprise for two teams already out of semifinal contention.
The Americans had won or lost their previous matches by one goal, and conceded only six altogether. South Africa had steadily improved from conceding an opening seven goals to Argentina to just one against Australia.
World champion Argentina could qualify with a win or draw over three-time Olympic champion Australia, which needed a win. Britain joined the defending champion Netherlands in the semifinals from Pool A.
China, which reached the final in Beijing, beat Britain on Saturday to revive its chances and needed another win over winless Japan. But Rika Komazawa was credited with the only goal in a scramble after a penalty corner in the 53rd minute.
Germany, the 2004 champion, needed to beat New Zealand by three goals to have a chance of advancing, and had two goals disallowed on video review.
"It's hard to understand that we have eight cameras in HD and in the end there is no advice possible," Germany and coach Michael Behrmann said. "For me, it's unbelievable."
Three weeks ago, the Germans beat the Kiwis 5-1 in an exhibition match.
"I was more anxious than the girls (before the Olympics)," New Zealand coach Mark Hager said. "But I was listening to a couple of them talking to other people and they were saying, 'Tell them to settle. We're OK. We know where we're at. We'll be right. We'll switch on when we're ready.' And true to their word they have."
The Black Sticks had a poor Champions Trophy in February and were hampered by injuries, which didn't help expectations.
"We set the program to peak at the Olympics, but you never know if you're going to get it right," Hager said. "At this stage we've got it right. The players have stepped up."
New Zealand started and finished better while Germany were in charge before and after halftime in a match in which the goalkeepers starred, Bianca Russell for New Zealand and Yvonne Frank for Germany.
"I'm happy with the result but not so happy with the way we played, at least we hung on," Hager said. "As I said to the girls it doesn't matter how you win or draw or get to the semifinals — if it's ugly it's still well and good. Teams have played good hockey in the past and never made it. For this group I think it's fantastic."
For Germany, just bitter disappointment.
"We are our biggest opponents, maybe it is mental," said Germany defender Julia Mueller, who was twice penalized. "We have to grow up."
The South Africans needed to win by six to rise above the U.S., and led by that much by the 53rd minute. Tarryn Bright and Pietie Coetzee each scored twice.
Japan goalkeeper Sakiyo Asano was the biggest problem for China in a first half it dominated. But Japan improved in the second half and the reward came after a third straight penalty corner when Komazawa deflected in a goal.
The crowd, hoping to do Britain a favor, supported Japan throughout.
"We can't understand English," China defender Ma Wei said, "so we pretended that the cheers from the crowd were for us."