England fell just short of a championship spot after defeating South Africa, unbeaten previously. New Zealand earned a berth in the final at Rabobank Champions Challenge. They defeated Japan 2-1 and will face South Africa because of one goal.

Both England and New Zealand have 10 points after their 5 matches of round robin, but New Zealand advanced to the final based on 4-3 goal difference. England tried everything to score 4 goals in the last match of the day, but opponent South Africa did not admit it. England will now play against Japan for 3rd and 4th place. In the 5th/6th place game USA will face Spain.

In today’s first match it was Elizabeth Ryan putting New Zealand on top with a penalty corner after 20 minutes. But in the last minute of the first half Japan draw on Sakae Morimoto’s penalty corner.

Finally it was Honor Dillon 10 minutes before the end of the match, scoring her first goal of this tournament and sending her team to the championship game with it.

When the match between England and South Africa started, the European Team still had the possibility to reach the championship game by winning with four goals. England showed their will to win, and took the lead after 14 minutes by a penalty corner of Mel Clewlow.

In the second half England’s Helen Grant netted two goals to bring the team nearer to the final. In the end there was just one goal missing, so that England indeed defeated South Africa 3-0, but will only play for 3rd place against Japan. 

Saturday’s classification matches will face USA and Spain at 16:00 i9n 5th/6th place game, followed by England and Japan in the 3rd/4th place at 18:30 and the championship match between New Zealand and South Africa is scheduled for 21:00.