(Photo: © Wolfgang Sternberger)

Netherlands claimed the women’s Samsung Hockey Champions Trophy crown with a heart-stopping penalty stroke victory over Australia in the final this afternoon.

The Dutch have assumed control of international women’s hockey with their second successive Champions Trophy title and have confirmed their world number one ranking ahead of Germany and Australia.

The day’s two medal matches were both decided by penalty strokes, highlighting the competitiveness of teams at the top of the world rankings.

Neither Australia nor Netherlands could breach their opponent’s defence through the match, with a handful of penalty corners and limited goal scoring opportunities thwarted by solid defence.

Extra time couldn’t separate the teams and the dreaded penalty strokes were called to decide the champions. The first round of penalty strokes was taken without a clear winner before Australia missed their opening opportunity of the second round to hand the Netherlands the title.

In the bronze medal match, Argentina gave up a two-goal half time before eventually losing to China 9-8 in penalty strokes.

Argentina began the match well but tired after half time as China played consistently in the second period to force the match into extra time.

After two periods of extra time and the first and second round of penalty strokes, China eventually prevailed with their ninth successful attempt to secure a third Champions Trophy medal in the past four years.

In the battle to avoid Champions Trophy relegation, Germany belatedly found their goal scoring touch with a win over Korea. Germany had struggled to find the net throughout the tournament but waited until their final match to finally discover their winning edge.

The win keeps Germany in the field for Rabo Hockey Champions Trophy in Amstelveen next July, with Korea relegated from the tournament. New Zealand will be the new team in the Champions Trophy field after their victory at the Rabobank Hockey Champions Trophy earlier this year.

WorldHockey Awards
2005 WorldHockey Women’s Player of the Year: Luciana Aymar (ARG)

2005 WorldHockey Women’s Young Player of the Year: Maarrtje Goderie (NED)

Samsung Hockey Champions Trophy Awards
Player of the Tournament: Lucian Aymar (ARG)
Highest Goal Scorer: Soledad Garcia (ARG), Sylvia Karres (NED)