HOCKEY star Emily Maguire needs just a single point from today’s showdown with China to keep her Olympic dream alive.
Paisley woman Maguire, 24, and the rest of the Great Britain team have been in fine form so far at the 2012 Games in London and are now set to clinch their place in the knockout stages.
Thursday’s comfortable 3-0 victory over Belgium handed them their third consecutive win of the competition, hauling them to the top of Group A.
On target for the Brits were Ashleigh Ball, Laura Bartlett and Crista Cullen.
Great Britain had opened their campaign with a resounding 4-0 win over Japan, with the game marking an impressive milestone for Reading defender Maguire as she made her 100th international appearance.
Team GB followed that result with a fine 5-3 win over South Korea and Thursday’s win over the Belgians has taken them a giant step closer to qualification.
A draw from today’s match with China would guarantee them a place in the semi-finals.
Maguire, who spent 15 years learning her skills at Kelburne Hockey Club in Paisley, has played all three games at the heart of the Great Britain defence and will be hoping to make it four in a row by lining up against the Chinese this afternoon.
She has also posted a message on her Facebook site to thank the British fans for their support so far.
Maguire said: “Three wins out of three ain’t half bad. The crowd were amazing once again.”
Today’s match against China at the Riverbank Arena starts at 4pm.
Should Great Britain qualify for the semi-finals, their last four opponents are likely to be either Argentina, New Zealand, Australia or Germany.
Those four nations are competing in Group B of the competition and are currently locked on six points each from their first three games, with just the two top countries going through to the semi-finals.
Great Britain will complete their group matches on Monday night against the Netherlands, who are ranked as the world’s number one team. Push-back for that match is at 7pm.