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India crowned champs, Chile to also contest HWL Semi-Finals

April 10, 2017

India were crowned HWL Round Two champions in West Vancouver at the final Round Two event of the season after a thrilling match against Chile, which was decided on shoot-out. The result means both India (World Ranking:11) and Chile (WR:19) qualify for the HWL Semi-Finals in either South Africa or Belgium and have a chance to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in London.

1st/2nd place: India v Chile 1-1 (3-1 pso)

Chile took the game to the higher ranked nation as they opened the scoring in the fifth minute through Maria Maldonado. The south American side then worked hard to shut the door on India as the Asia team poured on the pressure. Chile’s defence finally capitulated in the 41st minute when Anupa Barla scored from a penalty corner to bring her team back into the fray. The game see-sawed back and forth but no-one was able to make the vital breakthrough and so the game went to penalty shoot-out.

India were clinical in the shoot-out, while the Eve’s ‘keeper Savita, confirmed her position as Goalkeeper of the Tournament, with two tremendous saves.

3/4th Place: Belarus vs Uruguay (4-2)  

Nastassia Syrayezhka smashed in a rebounded shot to give Belarus a 1-0 lead just four minutes in the penultimate match. Just before the end of the first quarter Uruguay’s Milagros Algorta unleashed an expert drag flick to tie the game 1-1. In the second quarter Belarus had three penalty corners in succession but all three were well stopped by Uruguay keeper Rosanna Paselle. Waving off their set-piece misses, Belarus came back down into Uruguay’s end and Sviatlana Bahushevich scored from close range to put her team back in front, up 2-1.  

Set pieces were evidently important as Belarus went up 3-2 on a penalty corner that was perfectly struck by captain Ryta Batura in the 36th minute. After that Uruguay picked up the pace and earned a series of corners. Manuela Vilar’s penalty corner strike was deflected in by Algorta for her and her team’s second of the game, leaving Uruguay trailing 3-2 as the teams entered the final quarter. Belarus keeper Maryna Navitskaya did well in goal to stop several Uruguay penalty corner chances and in the other end Rosanna Paselle made a great kicker save on a penalty stroke taken by Yuliya Mikheichyk. Belarus captain Batura silenced Uruguay’s medal hopes in the 52nd minute as she finished again on a penalty corner to carry her team to a 4-2 victory and ultimately a third-place finish at the tournament.

5/6th Place: Canada vs Mexico (4-0)  

Canada put the Mexican defence, staunchly led by ‘keeper Jesus Castillo, through their paces for most of this match. The host nation were denied a breakthrough goal however, until the 39th minute despite a constant barrage of shots. Canada finally broke the deadlock in the 39th minute after a sly run from defender Shanlee Johnson whose back-hand cross was deflected on target for Brienne Stairs, who notched her seventh of the tournament to put Canada up 1-0. In the 45th minute Stairs showed her flair after going solo through the top of the circle and blasting home Canada’s second goal for a 2-0 lead entering the final quarter. Calm hands in the circle allowed Stairs to score two more to help Canada to a 4-0 victory and finish fifth in the tournament.  

Final placings:
India (Qualified for Hockey World League Semi-Finals)
Chile (Qualified for Hockey World League Semi-Finals)
Belarus
Uruguay
Canada
Mexico
Trinidad and Tobago

Player of the Tournament: Ryta Batura (BLR)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Savita (IND)
Best Junior Player: Denise Krimerman (CHI)
Top Scorer: Brienne Stairs (CAN)

To learn more about how the teams progress through the competition in the hope of reaching the 2018 Hockey World Cups, click here, with more details about all of the HWL events available by clicking here.

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