The women's Gold medal in the Hockey competition at the 2010 Commonwealth Games has gone to Australia following a dramatic penalty strokes victory over New Zealand on Wednesday in New Delhi.
At the end of normal time the match was tied at 2-2, with New Zealand forcing extra time thanks to a last gasp penalty corner flick from Clarissa ESHUIS. However, Australia goalkeeper Rachael LYNCH saved Katie GLYNN's penalty effort in the shoot-out before Krystal FORGESSON fired wide of the target to give Australia their second consecutive Gold Medal in Commonwealth Games hockey. It was a fantastic moment for Hockeyroos coach Frank MURRAY, who retires from the role on a high. All Australians will now be hoping that it will be a double success when the men's team take on host nation India in Thursday's Gold medal match (see preview below).
Earlier in the day, England claimed the Bronze medal thanks to a 1-0 win over South Africa. 19-year-old Georgie TWIGG scored the crucial goal in the first half, giving England their third bronze medal of 2010 following on from third place finishes at the ABN AMRO Champions Trophy (Nottingham) and the BDO FIH World Cup (Rosario, Argentina).
More information about these matches can be found below.
Australia wins Hockey Gold
Australia defeated New Zealand 4-2 on penalty strokes after a 2-2 draw to win back-to-back Commonwealth Games Gold medals.
Melbourne 2006 Gold medallist Jessica Nicole ARROLD (AUS), who netted the decisive penalty stroke to win Gold, slung a penalty corner shot low into the goal in the ninth minute to give the Aussies a 1-0 lead at half-time.
Samantha HARRISON (NZL) brought New Zealand back into the game after the break when she tapped a penalty corner in on the right post for 1-1 after 48 minutes.
Ashleigh NELSON (AUS) restored the Australians' lead by netting while lying on the ground in the 59th minute - again from a penalty corner - but Clarissa ESHUIS (NZL) sent the game into extra time with her penalty corner conversion in the final minute of regulation time.
Both teams had chances in the two periods of extra time but neither could find a golden goal.
With only captain Madonna BLYTH (AUS) missing her stroke when shooting wide for the Australians, the pressure was on New Zealand to convert every stroke.
But Aussie goalkeeper Rachael LYNCH (AUS) made a save from Katie GLYNN (NZL) and Krystal FORGESSON (NZL) pushed her shot wide to give Australia the win and Gold.
Twigg goal secures Bronze for England
Georgie TWIGG's 13th-minute goal was enough to see off South Africa and secure the Bronze medal for England at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Wednesday.
The goal came after some great build-up play from England's Crista CULLEN, whose cross into the area was deflected into the net by TWIGG.
South Africa dominated much of the game and had more penalty corner opportunities but England goalkeeper Beth STORRY was in great form and kept her side on course for the win.
England, who won the Bronze at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, also took the Bronze medal at this year's World Cup and Champions Trophy in 2010.
Preview: Men's Medal Matches (Thursday 14 October)
The Men’s Gold medal match will be fought out between India and Australia at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium on Thursday. England and New Zealand will contest the Bronze medal match.
Bronze medal match: England v New Zealand
England will be anxious to banish the disappointment of losing in penalty strokes to India in the semifinal and try to collect the Bronze when they meet New Zealand. Ashley JACKSON (ENG) and Simon MANTELL (ENG) have been solid for England in front of goal all tournament, netting five each.
New Zealand were on the wrong end of a 6-2 scoreline against Australia in the semifinals, and will be keen to finish the Games with a win. Hayden SHAW (NZL) has been top -scorer for the Black Sticks at the Games, also netting five efforts.
Gold medal match: Australia v India
Australia will be looking to pick up its fourth Commonwealth Games Gold medal, from four outings. The Kookaburras have been formidable, proceeding through the preliminaries undefeated and getting the better of New Zealand 6-2 in the semifinal.
India have improved throughout the tournament and won a semifinal thriller on penalty strokes against England on Tuesday. They lost 5-2 to Australia when the sides met in their Pool A match. Luke DOERNER (AUS) leads the tournament scoring list, with six goals. Sandeep SINGH (IND) and Saravanjit SINGH (IND) have both been on target five times.
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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