The 11/12 place play-off matches at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup were both decided, with England women taking a dramatic shoot-out victory over Belgium before South Africa men came from a goal down to thrash Malaysia 6-2. The result gave the winning teams an 11th place finish, consigning their opponents to 12th.
WOMEN 11/12th: Belgium v England 1-1 (0-1) (2-3 SO)
The 11/12 place play-off was decided in dramatic fashion when England's slender 1-0 lead was cancelled out by a last-minute equaliser and the game went to shoot-out. England's experience paid off as they won the shoot-out 2-1, largely thanks to the excellent 'keeping by England's Maddie Hinch. The goal-scorers for England in the shoot-out were Sally Walton and Susie Gilbert, Belgium's sole scorer was Aline Fobe.
The 13th-ranked young Belgium side worked hard in the heat of the Kyocera Stadium, but for most of the game failed to really trouble an England team that looked tired, dejected but competent. England, who took the lead in the 16th minute, spent the last period of the game with only nine players on the pitch, when captain Kate Richardson-Walsh and Susannah Townsend were both dismissed with yellow cards. England defended well and survived this, but in the final minute Belgium – who had removed their 'keeper to have 11 field players – scored from a penalty corner, Emilie Sinia the hero for the Red Panthers.
MEN 11/12th: Malaysia v South Africa 2-6 (1-0)
Seven goals in 35 minutes kept the crowd entertained as the Lads ran riot in the second half of this 11/12 classification match. South Africa took full advantage when Malaysia were reduced to 10 men for five minutes in the second half of the game. A hat-trick for Justin Reid-Ross was the highlight of the South Africa performance, but the African champions had to survive a Malaysian attacking onslaught in the first half before they got a handle on the game.
Malaysia opened the scoring through Firhan Ashari (26') found the goal after taking a quick free hit just outside the circle. The South Africa defence was caught snoozing and Erasmus Pieterse was unable to prevent the ball going into the net. The matched turned around in the second half as South Africa began to set their press higher up the field and pressurise the Malaysian defence. The South Africa goals came from Reid-Ross, (43', 45' and 48'). Lloyd Norris-Jones (50'), Austin Smith (64') and Jean-Pierre de Voux. Malaysia scored a consolation goal through Shahrun Abdullah in the final minute of the match.
For more information on the Rabobank Hockey World Cup visit the Event website HERE.
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