• Kyodo


Japan suffered its first defeat in the final round of Athens Olympic qualifiers in women’s hockey in New Zealand on Tuesday when it was beaten 1-0 by Spain in Group B.

Spain’s third straight win, which came courtesy of a 34th-minute goal from a penalty corner from Lucia Lopez, guaranteed it a top-four finish in the 10-team, two-group tournament and a ticket to Athens.

The top five teams qualify for Greece.

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