DELHI, Oct 11:Australia and New Zealand will compete for the Gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games thanks to victories over England and South Africa respectively. Both Semi Final matches were decided by solitary goals as Australia captain Madonna BLYTH and Black Sticks defender Clarissa ESHUIS netted the all important goals to sink their opponents. The tournament final will take place on Wednesday immediately after the Bronze medal match between England and South Africa.
More information about these matches and the rest of the day's play can be found below.
Women's Semi Finals
Semi Final 1: Australia 1-0 England
Australia scraped through to the Gold medal match, with a 1-0 win over England. Australia’s defence, led by goalkeeper Rachael LYNCH (AUS), absorbed intense pressure in the opening half as England dominated possession and field position. With the teams locked at 0-0 three minutes into the second-half, Australia got its first good attacking opportunity, and earned a penalty corner. Captain Madonna BLYTH (AUS) deflected the flat hit from Jessica Nicole ARROLD (AUS) into the net for the decisive score. England will play in the Bronze medal match on Wednesday before Australia takes the pitch looking for back-to-back Games Golds.
Semi Final 2: New Zealand 1–0 South Africa
The Black Sticks defeated South Africa 1-0 in the second semifinal of the Women’s Hockey to progress to the Gold medal match, in which they will face trans-Tasman rivals Australia.
The two semifinalists were evenly matched and the first half saw chances at both ends of the field. A penalty corner conversion in the second half, when Clarissa ESHUIS (NZL) pounced on a rebound, was the only score of the match.
Not even Pietie COETZEE (RSA), top-scorer in the Women’s preliminaries, could save the day for South Africa, despite a number of late opportunities. The Bronze medal match between South Africa and England will be the curtain raiser for Wednesday’s Gold medal match.
5-6: India 3-0 Canada
The fight for the fifth and sixth positions, between the teams placed third in Pools A and B, saw India finish runaway winners 3-0 against Canada. India’s first goal came in the 18th minute, when Ritu RANI (IND) found a gap between Canadian goalkeeper Azelia LIU’s (CAN) legs. A weakening Canadian defence in the second-half resulted in two more goals for the Indians in the last five minutes of the game. Chanchan Devi THOKCHOM (IND) and Saba ANJUM (IND) added their names to the scoresheet as India claimed fifth place.
7-8: Scotland 1-1 Wales (3-1)
Eighty-five minutes of hockey couldn’t separate Wales and Scotland, and the teams were forced to a penalty stroke competition to determine a winner in the 7th/8th classification match.
Leah WILKINSON (WAL) converted the first penalty, but Kareena MARSHALL (SCO) equalised with her shot.
Scotland’s goalkeeper Abigail WALKER (SCO) made her first save, and Vikki BUNCE (SCO) made it 2-1.
WALKER again made a save, and Catriona FORREST (SCO) extended the advantage to 3-1.
Abigail WELSFORD (WAL) needed to connect on her stroke, but again WALKER was too good. The penalty strokes were the first goals after the opening 10 minutes of the match. Ailsa ROBERTSON (SCO) scored the first goal in the sixth minute, before Sarah THOMAS (WAL) equalised in the ninth.
9-10: Trinidad and Tobago 2-1 Malaysia
Trinidad and Tobago won its first match of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games to finish ninth in the tournament. After a scoreless first half, it was the Caribbeans who opened the scoring. Blair WYNNE'S (TRI) bouncing penalty corner strike evaded the Malaysian defence for a 1-0 lead. Malaysia fought back and a diving Fazilla SYLVESTER SILIN (MAS) levelled the scoring at 1-1. Just when the game looked likely to head into extra-time, a breakaway by WYNNE (TRI) found Stacey-Ann SIU BUTT (TRI) unmarked and she slotted home the winner. Malaysia finished the tournament in 10th.
Tuesday is men's Semi Finals day, with Australia taking on New Zealand before England clash with host nation India. A full report of the matches will be published on Tuesday evening.
All official tournament information including match sheets, starting line-ups, tables and scorers can be found on the Commonwealth Games Results Website by clicking here.
Source material: Commonwealth Games News Service
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