Britain ended a Rio 2016 women's hockey berth by beating Germany in the semi-final in Valencia ©World Sport Pics/Stanislas Brochier

Britain and China booked their places at the Rio 2016 Olympic women’s hockey tournament after winning victories in the semi-final of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hockey World League semi-final stage in Valencia, with both teams now set to meet in the final.

London 2012 Olympic bronze medallists Britain earned a narrow 1-0 victory over Germany to secure one of three Rio 2016 berths on offer at the semi-final.

With so much at stake the opening stages of the semi-final proved to be a cagey affair, however the British team were able to counter-attack on Germany to open the scoring.

In a three on one situation Helen Richardson-Walsh and Sophie Bray combined to set up Lily Owsley, who calming slotted into the German net, to give Britain a vital lead in the tie.

Despite having several opportunities to kill the match off, Britain spurned their chances and became reliant on goalkeeper Maddie Hinch to preserve their precious advantage.

Hinch save from a string of German penalty corners in the closing minutes to secure her fifth clean sheet in the last six matches to help her team progress.

China beat Argentina in the second semi-final to ensure their progression ©FIH Hockey/Twitter
China beat Argentina in the second semi-final to ensure their progression ©FIH Hockey/Twitter

“Words can’t really describe the feeling,” said Hinch.

“We came here with qualification in our mind and we’ve taken it one game at a time and done a job.

"To reach a final and book a spot at Rio [2016], we can’t be happier.

“We’ve got a great team back home and an incredible goalkeeper coach in John Hurst, so I felt good coming into this competition and once the nerves settled I enjoyed myself.”

Britain will face China in the final in Valencia, after they came from behind to beat 2-1 Argentina in their semi-final tie.

Carla Rebecchi had put the Argentina into the lead through a penalty corner but two strikes from Wang Menyu turned the match on its head and China held on to their lead to secure a first ever victory over Argentina.

While Britain and China play for gold tomorrow, Argentina and Germany will still have the prize of a bronze medal and the final automatic qualifying berth for Rio 2016 to play for when they meet in the third place play-off.

Argentina are likely to begin as favourites, having beaten Germany at last year’s Champions Trophy and the World Cup.

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