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UConn in the Olympics: Upton’s Ireland squad bounced in pool play

Cecile Pieper’s squad also dropped their first game of the Olympics while Niels Giffey and Germany secured a spot in the knockout round.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games - Day 8 - Hockey Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Róisín Upton’s time at the Olympics is over. On Saturday, Ireland fell 2-0 to Great Britain while India defeated South Africa to claim fourth place in Pool A and with it, a spot in the knockout round. Upton started and picked up a yellow card in the match.

It’s a disappointing finish to Ireland’s first Olympic field hockey appearance after making a run to the World Cup final in 2018. They started off with a 2-0 victory over South Africa — in which Upton made history by scoring Ireland’s first Olympic field hockey goal — before four consecutive losses to Netherlands, Germany, India and Great Britain.

Upton is only 27, so she should continue being a stalwart for Ireland as they set their eyes on qualifying for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games - Day 8 - Hockey Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Pieper and Germany fall to Netherlands in heavyweight battle

Though Cecile Pieper’s Germany squad had already clinched their spot in the knockout round, they had a chance to win Pool A against the Netherlands in the group stage finale. But Germany proved no match for the No. 1 team in the world as the Oranje claimed a 3-1 victory.

Pieper started for Germany but did not record any statistics. Netherlands jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Germany responded with a goal in the second quarter. Despite the thin margin, the German team just couldn’t find the equalizer before the Netherlands sealed it with a third goal in the 56th minute.

Germany will take on Argentina in the quarterfinals on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. Argentina finished third in Pool B with three wins and two losses. If Germany advances, they will face the winner of Australia-India.

Germany v Netherlands - Hockey - Olympics: Day 8 Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Giffey, Germany fall to Australia

In their final group stage game, Germany fell to Australia 89-76. Niels Giffey scored 11 points to go with four rebounds.

With the loss, Germany drops to third place in Group B with a 1-2 record but will advance through to the knockout stage as one of the two third-place teams to get through. While they’re currently tied with the Czech Republic in Group A with four points in three games and Argentina and Japan both have two points in two games in Group B (two points are awarded for a win, one for a loss), Germany has the best point differential at -16, which serves as the first tiebreaker.

Even if Argentina or Japan win their final game and have a better point differential, Germany is still guaranteed the second-best point differential.

Tokyo - 2020 - Basketball Photo by Swen Pförtner/picture alliance via Getty Images

Looking ahead

Aaliyah Edwards, Kia Nurse and Canada look to wrap up group play with a win against Spain at 9 p.m. EST on Saturday. Meanwhile, Gavin Edwards and Japan will try to secure the final third place advancement when they take on Argentina at 12:40 a.m. EST on Sunday.