Hockey

The Netherlands in semifinals

India shocks Japan; Australia defeats New Zealand

The Netherlands qualified for the semifinals from Pool A in the women's field hockey World Cup here on Sunday with a close win over Germany.

Germany and Australia will meet in the last Pool A match on Tuesday to decide the other semifinalist.

India took its first points of the tournament defeating Japan 2-0, and in the two local derbys, Netherlands won 2-1 over Germany to earn a semifinal berth and Australia defeated New Zealand 4-1.

Germany started the first half with a field goal by Maike Stoeckel who finished Natascha Keller's unchallenged run into the circle with a slap inside the left post.

Maartje Paumen failed to convert two penalty corner chances for Netherlands in the first half but opened the second half with an interchange with Minke Smeets to flick in off Germany goalkeeper Kristina Reynolds.

Netherlands made the winning goal two minutes from time as Naomi van As set up Kim Lammers to make an easy push into goal.

Germany coach Michael Behrmann felt as if he was watching a movie.

“Sometimes it feels like you are in a movie, fighting hard and having chances to score and at the end Netherlands wins,” Behrmann said.

Netherlands coach Herman Kruis admitted his side had been shaded by Germany in the first half. “In the first half several Netherlands players were playing below their normal level but after the break we had more power but I think we were lucky to win 2-1,” Kruis said.

Rani scores first goal

India's new golden girl, 16-year-old Rani Rampal helped India upset Japan 2-0 as she scored India's first goal, a deft push from near the top of the circle inside the right post from the top of the circle.

Jaseet Handa converted India's second penalty corner with a flick which deflected off Japan's runner into goal in the second half.

Rampal has scored in each game for India and is the top field-goal scorer of the tournament with five goals.

India's coach Sandeep Somesh was relieved India managed to take three points. “After three losses I am glad we could come away with some points and it lifts the morale of the team,” Somesh said.

Japan lacked the fighting spirit and running power against India, according to Japan coach Zenjiro Yasuda.

“We could not adapt to the change in temperature from the freezing cold on Friday against New Zealand to today's relatively hot weather and meant we could not run a lot today,” Yasuda said.

New Zealand wore black arm bands in sympathy with the Christchurch earthquake victims and was on the scoreboard early in the first half as passes from Stacey Carr to Charlotte Harrison set up Krystal Forgesson to slot in from close range.

Kobie McGurk converted Australia's first penalty corner to equalise.

Australia put the game out of New Zealand's reach late in the second half with three similar goals, scoring rebounds off New Zealand goalkeeper Beth Jurgeleit's pads.

Ashleigh Nelson scored twice and Shelly Liddelow once for the final score of 4-1.

The results:

Pool A: Japan 0 lost to India 2 (Rani Rampal 14, Jaseet Handa 43).

Germany 1 (Maike Stoeckel 3) lost to Netherlands 2 (Maartje Paumen 39, Kim Lammers 69).

New Zealand 1 (Krystal Forgesson 5) lost to Australia 4 (Kobie McGurk 12, Ashleigh Nelson 57, 65, Shelly Liddelow 63).

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 12:30:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/The-Netherlands-in-semifinals/article15905418.ece

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