Netherlands and Australia top Pools A and D; Chile’s adventures continue; Ireland and Japan suffer bitter disappointment

6 July 2022

Lausanne, Switzerland: Another action packed day has revealed the first two teams to qualify straight through to the quarter-finals. As winners of Pool A and D respectively, Netherlands and Australia will now have a break while the knockout round is contested.

As second in Pool A, Germany will face South Africa, who finished in third position in Pool D. The lowest ranked team in the tournament, Chile, will take on Belgium, who finished in second place in Pool D.

Ireland’s dreams of repeating their 2018 exploits was dashed by a businesslike performance by Germany. Netherlands won their third game to top Pool A but Chile won the hearts of the spectators – and in the case of Francisca Tala, a marriage proposal from her boyfriend –  with their defiant performance against the reigning champions.

South Africa kept Australia to a 2-1 scoreline, thus consigning Japan to join Ireland in the 13-16th place play-offs. The Cherry Blossoms had fallen victim to a revitalised Belgium earlier in the day.

Ireland v Germany (Pool A)

Ireland went into their must-win match against Germany full of energy, high spirits and an indomitable will to keep their World Cup dreams on track. For their part, Germany’s main concern was to ensure at least a second place finish in the pool and to put their earlier defeat at the hands of the Netherlands behind them.

From the start, Ireland’s captain Katy Mullan was leading by example, hassling and harrying the German defence, but Germany started with composure, both in attack and defence. Neither side managed to get a breakthrough in the first quarter and, in fact, there were only three attempts at goal in the first 15 minutes – one for Ireland and two for Germany.

The breakthrough came for Germany in the 24th minute. Nike Lorenz showed her accuracy and power from the top of the circle as she sent a penalty corner drag flick flying into the net, helped on its way by the tip of Ayeisha McFerran’s boot.

Ireland began the second half as brightly as they had started the first half, but once again they failed to make chances count. Gemany extended their lead in the 37th minute when Charotte Stapenhorst was on hand to slot the ball home after Kira Horn had cleverly slipped the ball to her after a strong dribble along the baseline.

Head Coach Sean Dancer removed Ayeisha McFerran for the start of the fourth quarter in an attempt to gain an advantage and pull the goals back. Zara Malseed came close to answering Dancer’s call but her shot was beautifully saved by Nathalie Kubalski in the German goal.

The Irish defence stood very strong against the German onslaught and managed to keep a handful of penalty corners out of the goal. However, a penalty stroke put the final tick on a German victory. Sonja Zimmermann stepped up to put the ball past McFerran, who had returned to the pitch for the stroke. Germany had one stroke saved at the very end of the match but by then it was all over for the Irish team.

Player of the Match, Kira Horn (GER) said: ‘Quite a fight but an important win. Ireland put a lot of pressure on us. We expected that and we were prepared for it. We trie to connect and play as a  team and I think we did that very well. There is much more to come from this German team. We now have time to prepare for the next round.’

Japan v Belgium (Pool D)

The first quarter between Japan and Belgium was really well matched and both teams could have snuck an early goal. However, at 15 minutes it was still 0-0 and there was a sense of edginess creeping into the Belgium team in particular. This manifested itself in a number of missed opportunities or poor decisions across the team.

The nerves were settled a little in the 24th minute when Stephanie Vanden Borre scored a trademark penalty corner drag flick, which was so quick that Eika Nakamura couldn’t react.

That was the only goal before half-time and the narrow lead still didn’t seem to have filled the Red Panthers with confidence. Japan desperately needed a goal, because even if they couldn’t win this game, they could still finish ahead of South Africa if the goal difference was favourable.

Belgium’s lead was doubled by Vanden Borre in the 40th minute, almost a mirror of the first. Super skills from Charlotte Engelbert won the corner and Vanden Borre scored her fourth of the tournament and second of the game. Belgium’s lead was extended four minutes later when Ambre Ballenghein made it 3-0, also scoring from a penalty corner. All of Belgium’s penalty corner goals were scored in Japan’s left hand corner of the goal.

As heavy rain poured down in Terrassa, there were no further goals although Belgium’s Louise Versavel in particular was pushing hard to add to the scoreline.

Player of the Match Michelle Struijk (BEL) said: ‘It has been a tough three days but I am really happy we had the win today and I can’t wait to get to the next stage of the tournament.’

Netherlands v Chile (Pool B)

It was the team ranked number one in the world against the team ranked 15th but Chile took to the pitch determined not to let the occasion overwhelm them. Chile’s task was made a shade harder because captain Camila Caram had received a one-match ban and so was watching the match unfold from the stands.

And she would have been delighted with her team’s performance in the opening half of the match. The Chile defence, bolstered by a courageous goalkeeping display from Claudia Schuler, kept the Netherlands at bay until the 14th minute. A rebound from a Frederique Matla penalty corner was tapped in by Lidewij Welten to send the home side into the break 1-0 up.

After the break the Netherlands continued to pile on the pressure, with Felice Albers and Matla among the Dutch players causing problems for Chile. However, the South American side refused to read the script and in the 21st minute Francisca Tala received a beautiful pass from Paula Valvida right in front of the Netherlands’ goal. She made no mistake as she sent the ball past Anne Veenendaal.

The Dutch continued to push forwards from that point, but found the Chile defence in determined mood and at the half-way mark the scores were level.

The Netherlands came out with huge intensity and nearly went ahead within two minutes of the restart. Xan de Waard struck a shot at goal. Natalia Salvador, who had replaced Schuler in goal, saved the first shot and then recovered to also save Maria Verschoor’s rebounded shot.

It took until three minutes from the end of the third quarter for the Dutch to regain the lead. Yibbi Jansen was the architect of the goal. Her perfectly placed shot was so hard that, although Salvador got a stick to it, it just kept travelling.

In the fourth quarter, the Dutch hit the next gear as they went for the goal that would give them air between them and their opponents. Xan de Waard sped up the pitch with the ball before releasing it to Jansen. She fired it into the circle and Maria Verschoor connected, only to find Salvador in her way.

A penalty corner from Jansen was well saved again by Salvador but then the crowd erupted when Laurien Leurink sent a pass to Eve de Goede and she scored her first goal since her return from long-term injury. The goal itself was a thing of beauty: de Geode took the ball wide and then struck a reverse stick shot high into the Chile goal.

Player of the Match, Francisca Tala (CHI) said: ‘I made a bet that if I scored a goal against the Netherlands then I would marry my boyfriend. We are the surprise of the tournament. Every moment is the best moment ever in our hockey life. We expected this sort of game. We wanted to play the best game we could play. We didn’t win but we did play very well.’

Eva de Goede said: ‘They played great, but we do have a lot of things to improve. We didn’t play too well in the first half. We did a little bit better in the second half. We now have some things to look at in preparation for the quarters.’

Australia v South Africa (Pool D)

On the day Mariah Williams celebrated her 100th cap, Australia and South Africa engaged in a fast, frenetic and entertaining match. Ahead of the game, Australia needed just a draw to win the pool, while South Africa could not afford to lose by a three goal margin as that would mean Japan would take third place in the pool.

Australia took the lead in the eighth minute through a powerful penalty corner strike from Penny Squibb. This was after a number of acrobatic saves from South Africa’s goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande but even she couldn’t keep Sqibb’s shot out.

Five minutes later and it was South Africa’s turn to make a penalty corner count. The corner was won through the sheer determination of Onthatile Zulu, who was causing mayhem in the Australia circle with her speedy, darting movements. Lilian du Plessis delivered the shot that squeezed past Jocelyn Bartram in the Australia goal.

In the second quarter Australia began to turn the screw on the South Africa defence. Rosie Malone missed the goal from close range but made up for the error seconds later when she unerringly struck a rebounded penalty corner after Grace Stewart had hit the post.

The second half saw Australia start sharply, with Rebecca Greiner in particular piling on the pressure. Unfortunately Greiner was a little too exuberant and received a green card but her team mates continued to push forwards and Hannah Cullum-Sanders won her team a penalty stroke when she was fouled on route to goal. Williams, perhaps conscious that this was her 100th cap, stepped up to take the stroke but put the ball wide.

Despite their domination of possession and a higher number of penalty corner opportunities, Australia were unable to find team connections so, while South Africa couldn’t find the net, for the sake of their goal difference, they didn’t concede any goals either.

The early stages of the final quarter was driven by South Africa. They won a penalty corner, which was well cleared and then the best chance of the final quarter fell to Bernadette Coston. The captain was perfectly positioned in front of the Hockeyroos’ goal but she just failed to connect to the cross from Jean-Leigh du Toit.

Player of the Match was Hannah Cullum-Sanders of Australia.

South Africa’s Lilian du Plessis said: ‘We are really happy. We came into the game with a lot of goals we wanted to acccomplish and I think we did that.’

Today’s results have decided some of the next matches. As pool winners Australia and Netherlands will both qualify directly for the quarter finals. In the knockout round Belgium will face Chile, while South Africa will take on Germany.

The action in the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup continues on Thursday 7 July. At the Wagener Stadium in Amstelveen, England and China will finish their Pool B campaigns at 16:30, followed by India against New Zealand at 19:30.

At the Estadi Olimpic de Terrasa in Spain, it is an all-PAHF encounter as Argentina face Canada at 18:00, then Korea take on Spain in the final pool match of the tournament at 21:30. All times are CEST.

Check out the pool standings here.

Pool A: Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Chile
Pool B: England, New Zealand, India, China
Pool C: Argentina, Spain, Korea, Canada
Pool D: Australia, Belgium, Japan, South Africa

FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup Spain & Netherlands 2022

6 July 2022 Results

Wagener Hockey Stadium, Amstelveen (NED)

Match #17

Ireland 0, Germany 3

Player of the Match: Kira Horn

Umpires: Annelize Rostron (RSA), Maggie Giddens (USA), Aleisha Neumann (AUS-video), Kang Hyun Young (KOR-reserve umpire)

Estadi Olimpic de Terrasa (ESP)

Match #18

Belgium 3, Japan 0

Player of the Match: Michelle Struijk (BEL)

Umpires: Amber Church (NZL), Kelly Hudson (NZL), Michele Meister (GER- video)

Wagener Hockey Stadium, Amstelveen (NED)

Match #19

Netherlands 3, Chile 1

Player of the Match: Francisca Tala (CHI)

Umpires: Irene Presenqui (ARG), Emi Yamada (JPN), Wanri Venter (RSA – video)

Estadi Olimpic de Terrasa (ESP)

Match #20

Australia 2, South Africa 1

Player of the Match: Hannah Cullum-Sanders (AUS)

Umpires: Hannah Harrison (ENG), Ivona Makar (CRO), Michelle Meister (GER-video)

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