World and Olympic champions The Netherlands and host nation Argentina will meet in the final of the BDO FIH World Cup on Satuday evening after claiming Semi Final wins over England and Germany respectively.
The Netherlands were taken all the way to penalty strokes by a hugely competative England team, but Dutch goalkeeper Joyce SOEMBROEK produced two saves from Kate WALSH and Charlotte CRADDOCK before Kim LAMMERS scored the decisive goal to confirm their place in the final. It was hearbreaking for England, who has greatly impressed the huge number of fans in the stadium who clearly fancied an upset.
The second semi final, between Argentina and Germany, was played in the most incredible atmosphere imaginable, with drumming, cheering and singing greeting every touch that was made by Las Leonas. The legendary Luciana AYMAR opened the match scoring with a brilliant first half effort before Rosario LUCHETTI extended Argentina's advantage seven minutes from the end of the match to send the crowd into raptures. Germany pulled a goal back late through Maike STOECKEL, but it was not enough to deny the home favourites the chance to play in the tournament final.
Earlier in the day, Spain were beaten by Japan in the 11th / 12th place play-off match. More information about these matches can be found below.
The action resumes tomorrow as three classification matches take place. At 13.30 (local time - GMT + 3), India take on South Africa for the right to finish in ninth place, while New Zealand and China do battle for 7th-8th place at 16.30. The final match of the day sees Australia face Korea in the 5th-6th place classification match.
For more information about the tournament, please visit the FIH microsite: http://www.bdofihworldcup2010.sportcentric.com/
Las Leonas set up 'dream final' with victory over Germany
Argentina will meet The Netherlands in a dream BDO FIH World Cup Final on Saturday after Luciana AYMAR and Rosario LUCHETTI scored a goal in each half to help Las Leonas to a 2-1 victory over Germany. A packed crowd of over 12000 people cheered passionately throughout the match, and exploded into jubilant celebrations when the full time hooter sounded. It was a fantastic night not only for Las Leonas but also for hockey in general, as the fans created an incredible atmosphere that may only be surpassed in Saturday's climactic final.
Germany were forced onto the back foot from the opening moments of the game, as the crowd cheered the home side forward. Argentina won two penalty corners in quick succession, but the usually reliable Noel BARRIONUEVO could not convert either of the chances. Germany keeper Kristina REYNOLDS was in superb form for her team, making a number of important saves to keep her team in the match. It was not all one way traffic though, with Argentina keeper Belen SUCCI also called into action to keep the scores level.
In the 25th minute of the match, the crowd got what they were hoping for when Luciana AYMAR scored her fifth goal of the tournament, blasting a shot from the centre of the circle. It was yet another moment of brilliance from the 33-year-old, who has been in breathtaking form throughout a World Cup which is taking place in her home city.
Germany created some good chances towards the end of the half, but Belen SUCCI continued to impress in the Argentina goal.
Kristina REYNOLDS was called into action once again for her team early in the second half, producing a superb save when she alone faced two onrushing Argentine attackers. Both sides traded blows for much of the period, but a key moment arrived in the 60th minute when SUCCI pulled of a remarkable diving save to deny Germany a certain goal. Three minutes later, the killer blow arrived from the stick of Rosario LUCHETTI to send the crowd into raptures. Although Maike STOECKEL pulled a goal back in the 69th minute, it proved to be no more than a consolation as Argentina booked their place in the tournament final. If this match is anything to go by, it promises to be a spectacular occasion.
Match 33 – Semi-final: Argentina v Germany 2-1
> Argentina have reached the World Cup final for the fifth time and for the first time since 2002 when they won the World title.
> Las Leonas take on the Netherlands in the final like they did in 1974 (1-0 defeat) and 2002 (win on penalty strokes).
> Only The Netherlands have more World Cup final berths (10) then Argentina (5).
> Germany play England in the bronze medal match.
> 2009 World Hockey player of the year Luciana Aymar (ARG) scored the opening goal to lift her Rosario 2010 total to 5 goals. Aymar has now scored against Germany in all three major hockey competitions (OG, CT and WC).
> It was Aymar’s first goal in a World Cup knock-out match. All eight of her other World Cup career goals came in pool matches.
> Rosario Luchetti scored again against Germany like she did in the 2008 Olympic bronze medal match which Argentina won 3-1.
> Maike Stöckel has now scored in Germany’s last two matches, losing 2-1 in each occasion.
English hearts broken by Lammers penalty
The Netherlands broke English hearts in a dramatic penalty strokes competition to reach the final of the BDO FIH Hockey World Cup here in Rosario, Argentina.
The first 70 minutes of an extremely close and entertaining contest finished 1-1 thanks to strikes from England's Hannah MACLEOD (56min, FG) and Maartje PAUMEN (61mins, PC), and when the teams failed to be separated in extra time a penalty strokes competition was brought into play. Netherlands keeper Joyce SOEMBROEK made crucial saves from Kate WALSH and Charlotte CRADDOCK to give her side the advantage, and even though England keeper Beth STORRY kept her side in the match when she saved from Lidewij WELTEN, England were beaten when Kim LAMMERS slammed her flick into the net to seal the victory.
The result means that The Netherlands will play in Saturday's final against Either Argentina or Germany, with the loser of that match facing England in the Bronze medal game on the same day.
The first half of the match was a closely fought contest, with both sides failing to take the initiative despite some extremely good chances. England's Beth STORRY made two outstanding saves from tournament top scorer Maartje PAUMEN's penalty corner efforts, whilst at the other end England failed to convert a penalty corner of their own.
The Netherlands chances of taking the lead dramatically improved when England captain Kate WALSH was given a Yellow Card 12 minutes after the break, but her team coped well with the pressure in her absence. England went back on the offensive when WALSH returned to the field, and were duly rewarded when Hannah MACLEOD scored her second goal of the tournament with a brilliant diving deflection from Crista CULLEN's cross from the right. The huge crowd sensed that an upset was on the cards, but Maartje PAUMEN soon scored her 11th goal of the tournamnent to tie the scores in the 61st minute. In the dying seconds of the match, The Netherlands were awarded a penalty corner, but England used their video umpire referral to good effect, proving that there was no foot in the circle.
The Dutch certainly had the better of the extra time periods, but still could not find a way past England star Beth STORRY, who has been simply sensational throughout this tournament. Sadly though, England fell victim to the cruelty of the penalty shoot-out, with Joyce SOEMBROEK proving to be the hero of The Netherlands.
Match 32 – Semi-final Netherlands v England 1-1, 4-3 aps.
> The Dutch reached the World Cup final for the 10th time and for the fourth time in succession.
> This marks the first time the Netherlands win a World Cup penalty stroke competition in four attempts. The Dutch had lost al three previous WC penalty stroke competitions; 4-3 vs ARG in 1976 Semi-final, 3-1 vs GER in 1981 final and 4-3 vs ARG in 2002 Final.
> For England this marked their first penalty stroke competition defeat in three attempts at World Cups.
> This was the first World Cup match to be decided on penalty strokes since the 2002 World Cup final ARG-NED 1-1 (4-3 ops).
> Netherlands have now converted 10 of 31 penalty corners (31%).
> England are on 3 for 19 on penalty corners (16%)
Chiba sinks Spain with late winner
Japan have claimed 11th place in the tournament thanks to a last-gasp strike from Kaori CHIBA, heling them secure a 2-1 victory over Spain. The Japanese team dominated the match in terms of possession, circle penetrations and shots on goal, all statistics which confirm that they were the rightful winners of the contest. For Spain, the result confirmed their worst ever finish at a women's World Cup event.
The first half of the match finished goal-less, but was not without incident. Japan created a number of fine goal-scoring opportunities but failed to take advantage, mainly due to some excellent goalkeeping from Maria LOPEZ DE EGUILAZ who made a number of outstanding blocks. Good penalty corner efforts from Ai MARUKAMI and Keiko MANABE were beaten away by the shot-stopper to deny Japan the lead. Kaori CHIBA - a constant threat to the Spanish defence throughout - also went close on a couple of occasions near the end of the half, but the the star striker could not find a way past the Spain goalkeeper.
Spain were more of a threat in the second half, finding gaps in the Japan defence and winning numerous penalty corners. in the 52nd minute, Montse CRUZ fired spain ahead with a powerful penalty corner strike which found its way into the net via a deflection. Japan piled pressure on the Spanish defence for the remainder of the game, and finally got their reward when Ai MURAKAMI smashed a penalty corner strike underneath the body of LOPEZ DE EGUILAZ to tie the scores. With just two minutes remaining, Japan hit the winner when Kaori CHIBA found the corner of the net to give her side victory. It was her fifth field goal of the tournament, and certainly her most important.
Match 31 – Final 11-12 Japan v Spain 2-1
> Japan beat Spain 2-1 to finish 11th at Rosario 2010, equalling their lowest World Cup rank first set at Sydney 1990.
> Spain finish 12th and are the only team that failed to win any of their matches this tournament. In 2006 South Africa was the only team to go home without a single victory.
> Twelfth place is Spain’s worst World Cup ranking. In 1986 they finished 11th.
> Spain have dropped 8 places from 4th in 2006 to 12th place in 2010. This marks the biggest drop in rank at successive World Cups.
> The former record, a drop of 7 places, was jointly held by Canada (3rd in 1986 to 10th in 1990), China (3rd in 2002 to 10th in 2006) and Soviet Union (3rd in 1981 to 10th in 1983).
> Spain have scored only 6 goals in 6 matches, the least goals by any team at Rosario 2010. In 2006 they also scored 6 goals but still managed to finish 4th.
> Montserrat Cruz (ESP) scored her second career World Cup goal. Her first came at the 2006 World Cup against England (1-1).
> Ai Murakami scored her second PC goals at Rosario 201. She also scored in Japan’s 2-1 loss against Germany.
> Kaori Chiba scored the match winning goal. She has scored 5 of Japan’s 8 goals at Rosario 2010. In 2006 she scored 4 times.
> Spain penalty corner success rate for Rosario 2010 is 4 for 20 (20%).
> Japan’s penalty corner success rate for Rosario 2010 is 2 for 23 (9%).
> Spain are the only team to have scored more penalty corner goals (4) than field goals (2).
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