In one of the tightest matches of the FIH Olympic Qualifiers, the British team were beaten by the Belgians 3-2 which means the Brits will now go into the bronze medal match on Saturday with a win needed to secure their place in Paris.
It was Tess Howard (19) and Ellie Rayer (57) that secured the goals for the Brits while Barbara Nelen (15), Stephanie Vanden Borre (34) and Justine Rasir (55) scored for Belgium.
The match opened with both teams evenly matched. With eight minutes to go in the first quarter Belgium’s Camille Belis was given a green card and with ten players on the pitch, Great Britain looked to capitalise on the advantage and Lily Owsley earned the first penalty corner of the match. They couldn’t convert the opportunity but kept the pressure high.
In the 11th minute of the match Belgium upped their speed and attacked the Great Britain goal relentlessly but the British defence stood tall with blocks from Fiona Crackles and goalkeeper Sabbie Heesh.
In the last minute of the quarter Belgium managed to break the deadlock. They looped a ball into the circle which landed in front of Heesh who didn’t manage to clear it and Barbara Nelen converted the opportunity to give them a 1-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter started with Belgium earning a penalty corner, but Tess Howard ran and blocked the attempt before Great Britain broke into the Belgian Circle.
The pressure remained high from the Great Britain team, and they were rewarded as Howard scored a diving field goal in the 19th minute.
In the last minutes of the quarter, Great Britain earned a penalty corner but couldn’t convert the chance while the Belgian defence maintained their strength as GB continued to increase the pressure. The match went to half time at 1-1.
Only 30 seconds into the third quarter, Belgium won a penalty corner which was saved excellently by Sophie Hamilton on the line. But it was the Belgian team that was the most aggressive in attack in the opening five minutes of the quarter.
They earned their second penalty corner in the 34th minute which was then scored by Stephanie Vaden Borre to put Belgium in the lead.
After some excellently work from the Belgian forwards another attempt on the British goal was blocked by Heesh. They British team managed to hold off the Belgian attacks and the third quarter ended 2-1.
The final quarter opened up with Belgian continuing to challenge the British defence with their speed, but the Brits stood strong.
The Belgian team made it 3-1 with a field goal that beat Heesh in the 55th minute of the game. It was a clinical goal by Justine Rasir as the game entered the final five mins.
The British team earned a penalty corner in the 56th minute which the got out and Ellie Rayer converted in the 57th minute to make it 3-2 with just three minutes to go.
Even with an extra outfield player on the pitch, the Brits couldn’t quite get the equaliser and lost 3-2 to Belgium.
GB Women will take on Ireland in the bronze medal match on January 20, 2024, at 14:30 UK Time, watch live on BBC Sport and red button.