Pool A at the Women's ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup today saw the USA defeat Ghana 6-0 to advance to the quarter-finals after Korea suffered a 0-2 defeat from the current champions Netherlands.
Ghana v USA 0-6 (0-3)
Despite playing their best game in this tournament so far, Ghana could not avoid defeat today at the hands of an efficient and disciplined USA side. Scoring their first four goals from penalty corners, the Americans made the best possible use of the opportunities they had throughout the match.
Superior in the field and leading play, the US girls nonetheless had difficulty creating danger outside of set pieces and relied on penalty corners to score until the last few minutes of the encounter, when Ghana was exhausted from their supreme defensive effort and could no longer keep up the barriers.
First half scorers included Nikki Parsley, Marie Elena Bolles and Aileen Johnson, while in the second half, it was Georgia Holland who converted the fourth penalty corner goal, and Laura Gebhardt and Emily Wold added goals from open play in the dying minutes of the match for the 6-0 at the final whistle.
With this result, the US girls still depended on the result of the other Pool A match, ongoing at the time of the end of their game, needing Korea not to win for the USA to advance into the quarter-finals.
Voices after the match:
Lauren Gebhardt, Team Captain USA: "We are very satisfied with our performance so far. Every game we try to improve, and we saw it today. We try to improve more and more throughout the tournament. All the top teams have diferent systems of play, so we have to adjust to each team individually, and every time is a different setup for us as well. However, we are going for gold. The tournament is amazing, it's a great experience."
Korea v Netherlands 0-2 (0-1)
The Netherlands won the group after defeating Korea 2-0 in their last pool match. Korea’s quarter-final chances are over after suffering their second defeat in this pool.
The two time world champions from Asia knew that they would have to win this encounter to keep their playoff hopes alive. However, The Netherlands scored an early opening goal through good passing play and a final touch by Maria Verschoor. The first half saw most of the play remaining in midfield with neither side able to break through.
The reigning world champions eventually doubled their lead on 48 minutes through Lisanne de Lange. The Netherlands won four penalty corners in the second half, but were unable to capitalize on them as Korean goalkeeper Han Mi Jin made several brilliant saves against Dutch top-scorer Lieke van Wijk.
The Dutch girls could have added more goals to the final score, but the post and good goalkeeping by halftime substitute Han kept the result at 2-0.
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