Great Britain qualified for the men’s hockey quarter-finals with a game to spare after a thrilling late fightback to draw 2-2 with the Netherlands.

Sam Ward struck twice in the closing minutes at Oi Hockey Stadium as Britain responded to a 5-1 drubbing from Germany in their previous match.

His finishes cancelled out a superb team goal from Thierry Brinkman and a Jip Janssen strike for the Dutch.

“To come back from 2-0 down to get a draw so late is massive,” said Ward.

“It’s the springboard we need to plough on.

“It shows that some days you can just grind out the work-rate. We are a bunch of very fit blokes, and that is what shone through.

“We are building into the tournament. We had two cracking results, then we got a bit of a pumping [against Germany], but sometimes you need a bit of a slap in the face.”

Great Britain’s women also face the Netherlands in their next group game on Thursday, while the men take on Belgium in their final group fixture at 12:15 BST on Friday.

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