Semi Final 1 - Netherlands 2-2 South Africa (NED win 4-2 in shoot-out)
South Africa and the Netherlands served up a real treat in the first of the semifinals at the Investec London Cup on Saturday afternoon. After falling 2-0 down, South Africa rallied strongly to peg the world's number one side back to 2-2 before taking the match to a shoot-out competition.
After two efforts each it was 2-2 but the Netherlands won through to Sunday's live Final, winning 4-2 in the shoot-out competition.
Speaking after the game Dutch head coach Max Caldas gave an honest appraisal to how his side performed, saying: “We started really well but after getting two early goals we became complacent playing 50-50 hockey, then got sloppy. We were able to finish the game quite strongly though.”
Semi Final 2 - Germany 2-3 Australia
The second semifinal of the day saw world number three side Germany take on Australia, ranked four places below them. It was a tale of the underdog as the Hockeyroos came from behind in dramatic style to take the game 3-2 in the dying seconds and book their place in Sunday’s Investec London Cup Final.
A goal in either half from Maike Stockel and Eileen Hoffman gave Germany a two goal lead, but three goals in the final 16 minutes of the match from Emily Smith, Kobie McGurk and Anna Flanagan propelled Australia into Sunday's final.
Speaking after the game Australian Head Coach Adam Commens said, “Overall, I’m pleased with the result, although slightly disappointed with some aspects, especially ball control, which is an area we’ve been looking to progress.”
FINALS DAY PREVIEW
5th/6th Playoff – Ireland v Great Britain
Great Britain’s women will be looking to turn on the style for the home crowd on their last outing in front of the British fans before London 2012. If GB show the spirit and determination that they did against Germany on Thursday then this should be a thriller. Ireland’s young side have come here to show new coach Denis Pritchard what they can do and a superb first half against the Netherlands on Thursday will give them plenty of confidence as they line up against the hosts.
Bronze Medal Match – South Africa v Germany
For those that have not seen much of South Africa in recent years, the South Africans may have been the surprise package of the Investec London Cup but as Assistant Coach Fabian Gregory said on Saturday, “If this isn’t a wake-up for teams ranked ahead of us, they are in for a rude awakening in 50 days or so”. Germany won’t be taking South Africa lightly having narrowly beaten them 1-0 in the pool match on Wednesday.
Gold Medal Match – Netherlands v Australia
Both of these sides might count themselves lucky at having made it to the Investec London Cup Final but they have served up no end of thrills in their games so far. The Dutch fired five goals past Ireland on Wednesday but were somewhat fortunate to squeeze past South Africa in the semi final shoot-out having let slip a 2-0 lead on Saturday. Australia’s courageous fightback and last minute winner against Germany was worth every penny but they let the Dutch come from behind to win in their last meeting, the opening match of the tournament, 2-1.
Source: Great Britain Hockey Release
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