The semi finalists have been decided at the women’s European Nations Cup after the final preliminary round in Dublin yesterday, with the four favoured teams all advancing to the playoff matches. 

Netherlands and Germany completed an expected unbeaten run through their respective Pools to move into the semi finals. Both are heavy favoured to advance to Saturday’s final, where the winner will claim an automatic berth in next year’s Samsung Hockey World Cup in Madrid. 

England and Spain are the other semi finalists. England, the world’s eighth-ranked team, was assured of a place in the final four before yesterday’s match against Olympic champions Germany. However a 1-0 loss dropped them to second spot in Pool B and an unenviable match-up with the Dutch in the first semi final. 

Spain’s 6-0 win over France elevated them into second spot in Pool A on goal difference over Ireland, who fell to a costly four-goal defeat to the Netherlands. They play Germany in the other semi final needing a drastic improvement in form to trouble the Olympic champions. 

Spin enjoy the luxury of having already qualified for the World Cup as the home team.

In Friday’s classification matches, Ireland will meet Scotland and Ukraine play France.

Click here for the Qualifying Criteria for the World Cup.

Scotland 1 defeated Ukraine 0
Goals: ECO – Linda Clement PC 17m 

Germany 1 defeated England 0
Goals: GER – Fanny Rinne PC 18m 

Spain 6 defeated France 0
Goals: ESP - Silvia Munoz PC 3m, FG 10m, Marta Prat FG 28m, Ester Termens FG 30m PC 41m, Lucia Antoma FG 35m 

Netherlands 4 defeated Ireland 0
Goals: NED - Maartje Paumen PC 8m PC 46m, Saskia Fuchs FG 28m, Minke Smabers PS 43m 

Points Table
Pool A
Netherlands 9pts
Spain 4pts
Ireland 4pts
France 0pts 

Pool B
Germany 9pts
England 6pts
Scotland 3pts
Ukraine 1pt 

Friday’s Matches
1st Semi Final: Netherlands v England, 14:30
2nd Semi Final: Germany v Spain, 17:00
Classification 1: Ireland v Scotland, 19:30
Classification 2: Ukraine v France, 12:00