World League Round Three Third place playoff
New Zealand - Korea 3-3 (half-time: 3-3), Korea win 3-2 on penalties
Korea qualified for the 2014 World Cup in dramatic fashion as they recovered from a deep hole in a penalty shoot-out to outdo New Zealand who must now wait to see if they qualify for the elite event. New Zealand had led 2-0 in the shoot-out after two rounds only to succumb to a Korea side for whom Lee Sin Hye saved brilliantly three times while her attackers kept their nerve brilliantly.
It brought an end to a pulsating third place playoff which could half gone either way. The first half was a blockbuster with the sides sharing six goals as the game flew from end to end with the first coming with less than a minute on the clock. Han Hye Lyoung kept battling in the circle to rob the ball and slot home, starting the run of goals 40 seconds into the game.
New Zealand were level, though, 12 minutes later when Anita Punt crashed a ball directed to Krystal Forgesson’s dive. It was slowed up by a deflection but she brilliantly readjusted and dexterously nudged home for 1-1. Seung A Park put her side 2-1 up, touching in after excellent work by Kim Jong Eun only for Katie Glynn to equalise for a second time, snapping up a corner rebound after Kayla Sharland’s first phase shot was saved.
Sharland then put her side up in scrappy fashion when Forgesson’s cross ballooned up and wreaked havoc with the midfielder eventually forcing the ball over the line. Han Hye Lyoung left it level at half-time when she robbed the ball on halfway and raced forward to be one on one with Bianca Russell. She feinted right and then slotted home under the goalkeeper.
No further goals ensued in the second half but there was no shortage of action with plenty of penalty corners amassing. Korea’s Cheon Eun Bi just missed out on a finishing off a great counter attack while the Lee Sin Hye saved a Punt drag-flick superbly. Petrea Webster also could have won in it three minutes from time another Forgesson incision but the lack of goals meant the penalty shoot-out was required to decide the fate of the tie.
New Zealand took the initial impetus when Sharland scored and Han Hye Lyoung missed in round one of the shoot-out. But the kiwis did not score again after round two as Lee Sin Hye made a trio of excellent saved while Korea scored all three of their efforts with Park Seung A’s reverse firing her side to the World Cup.
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