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Hockey - Women

HOCKEY - Women 09 Jul, 2024

Zimbabwe’s Golden Girls: The first Olympic Gold Medalists in Hockey
Sports Bulletin ReportLausanne (Switzerland): In the annals of Olympic history, few stories are as inspiring as that of the Zimbabwe women’s hockey team, affectionately known as the "Golden Girls." Their triumph at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games is a testament to the power of determination, unity, and passion for the sport. In an exclusive interview with Ann Grant, the captain of the team, we delve into the incredible journey of these pioneering women.The Road to Moscow: In late June 1980, an air of excitement enveloped the newly formed nation of Zimbabwe. The women’s hockey team had been invited to participate in the XXII Olympic Games, marking the first time women’s hockey was included as an Olympic discipline. For Zimbabwe, which had just gained independence in April of that year, this was more than just a sporting competition; it was a chance to put their fledgling nation on the world map.Ann Grant recalls the moment they received the invitation: “Our team was extremely excited to be invited to the XXII Olympic Games, especially as it was the first time women’s hockey was an Olympic discipline and our new nation of Zimbabwe was only formally confirmed in April 1980.”Initially, the team’s destination was South Africa for an annual interprovincial tournament. However, in a surprising turn of events, they were instead invited to the Moscow Olympics. With just a month to prepare, the team had to hastily organize passports, uniforms, and a multitude of administrative details, all while securing a month’s leave from their employers. The Zimbabwe National Olympic Committee worked tirelessly to ensure everything was in order, while the players juggled their full-time jobs with increased hockey practices and matches against men's teams to prepare for the games.Arrival in Moscow: Arriving in Moscow ten days before the start of the Olympics, the team faced the challenge of adapting to artificial turf, something none of the players had ever experienced. Daily practices at local stadiums were invaluable in getting accustomed to this new surface. Despite the logistical hurdles and the unfamiliar environment, the team’s spirit remained unbroken.Ann vividly remembers their initial days in Moscow: “We were taken to the super new Olympic Village with amenities open 24 hours and then rushed off to get new hockey shoes as not one of us had ever played on artificial turf, including our coach!”The Olympic Experience: Walking into Lenin Stadium for the opening ceremony was a moment of awe and pride for the Zimbabwe team. Dressed in their bright blue uniforms, they marched with their new national flag flying high. The atmosphere in the Olympic Village was electric, and the team had the chance to meet other Olympic champions like Daley Thompson and Sir Sebastian Coe.Ann describes the opening ceremony: “The aura from the beautiful stadium, the magnitude of the many spectators, and the sheer joy of being a part of this momentous occasion was a mind-blowing experience.”The Zimbabwe women’s hockey team was an enthusiastic and determined group, resolute in their mission to give their best on the field. Under the expert guidance of coach Anthea Stewart, they adapted their tactics to face unknown opponents and displayed remarkable tenacity and skill.The Golden Moment: The women’s hockey tournament was conducted on a round-robin basis, featuring teams from Russia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, India, Austria, and Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe remained unbeaten heading into their final match against Austria. The victory secured them the gold medal, making history as the first winners in Olympic women’s hockey and earning Zimbabwe its first-ever Olympic gold.Ann recalls the moment of victory: “It is difficult to express our feelings of sheer joy and excitement of our achievement! We stood on that red carpet to receive our gold medals from Mr. Reg Alexander, IOC member from Kenya, and Mr. Renee Frank, the President of the International Hockey Federation. The unforgettable moment our flag was raised with the beautiful Olympic hymn playing in the background.”Celebrations and Legacy: The reception back home in Zimbabwe was nothing short of spectacular. The team was welcomed with a guard of honor by school drum majorettes and a huge crowd of fans and their families. Several functions were organized to celebrate their achievement, ensuring that all Zimbabweans could share in this historic moment.The legacy of the Golden Girls continues to inspire future generations of hockey players in Zimbabwe. The annual Golden Girls Hockey Tournament, held every July, keeps the spirit of their victory alive. Many of the team members have gone on to coach at various levels, giving back to the sport that brought them together.A Fairytale to Remember: The team’s journey was meticulously documented in a handwritten diary, capturing every moment of their Olympic adventure.Ann recounts how it all came about: “Our coach, Anthea Stewart, made a team rule of writing the day's events and happenings in a handwritten diary to document, from beginning to end, the story of our own Olympic journey – this was written in the same order as your team number. What incredible memoirs “Dear Diary” has safely tucked inside, with many laughs as we read through the various stories but also tears, as we remember our dear vice-captain and wonderful leader Liz Chase who has sadly passed on.”These memoirs, filled with laughter and tears, are a cherished testament to their incredible story. Despite being scattered around the globe, the remaining members of the Golden Girls maintain close contact, bonded by their shared history and the lifelong friendships forged during their golden moment.Their story, as recounted by Ann Grant, is a powerful reminder of what can be achieved with determination, unity, and a love for the game. The Golden Girls’ victory at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games remains one of the most inspirational chapters in the history of women’s hockey and Zimbabwean sport.

HOCKEY - Women 02 Jun, 2024

Women’s Nations Cup: what the captains and coaches say
Sports Bulletin ReportTerrassa (Spain): With just one day to go for the FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup Spain 2023/24, the players and coaches of all teams have spoken to express their expectations. The 2nd edition of the FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup will be played from 3 to 9 June 2024 in Terrassa, Spain.Canada – Sheldon Rostron, Head Coach said: “As a team we are excited to face some of the best at the Nations Cup in Terrassa, Spain. We are eager to compete again at high level event which is important to continue the growth of this team as we start a new cycle. These matches will push us and help us gain valuable insights but also show more of what we can expect from this team going forward. We're ready for a challenge and looking forward to competing at this event.” Chile – Camila Caram, Captain said: "The Nations Cup will be an interesting tournament, because all the teams are closely contested in the rankings. Every game will be very tough. This is an important challenge, because last time we were seventh and we want to improve that position. The championship will probably be very emotional, but we are focused on the tournament, tactics and technique. We'll see about the emotional part later. It's my last tournament with the Diablas after 18 years with the Chile jersey and I want to enjoy the experience to the fullest. It's nostalgic, but I'm ready to give it my all on the court." Ireland - Facundo Quiroga, Head Coach said: "The girls have put in a lot of work over the last three months to arrive at this tournament in the best possible form. They have challenged each other to grow as individuals and as a team, and we are enjoying the hockey we're playing. I believe we can go far in this Nations Cup if we play our game and enjoy the tough moments of the competition. We have an exciting challenge ahead of us." Italy – Andres Mondo, Head Coach said: "This FIH Nations Cup edition comes at a very complicated period, for all countries and especially for us, because we have a lot of players still involved in National Championships; for this reason, it was also not possible for us to arrange an ideal training. We expect to grow during the tournament, to be competitive and to put new players and new skills in our group. We are very proud and enthusiastic to know that our players always give their best for Italy." Japan – Yuri Nagai, Captain said: “For this Nations Cup, we aim to win and make it a great tournament that leads to the Paris Olympics. Our entire team will work hard together. We will make detailed adjustments and prepare well. Thank you for your support.” Korea – Jungeun Seo, Captain said: "I'm both excited and a bit worried about participating in this year's Nations Cup. As a senior, it's my responsibility to lead the juniors in such a big competition, and I'll do my best to make it a good experience for them. I also need to perform well myself and show what I can do. Competing against world-class teams is going to be tough, but I believe Team Korea can go far. My goal is to lead the players, value teamwork, and become a united team. No matter the outcome, I know we will learn a lot, grow, and come back stronger. I really hope everyone prepares well, stays injury-free, and returns home safely." New Zealand – Phil Burrows, Head Coach said: “The team is feeling energised and excited to be back playing tournament hockey. We are very committed to progressing our game throughout the tournament and beyond. Our expectations are to be in the hunt for the Nations Cup, which means our first focus point is topping our pool.” Spain – María López, Captain said: “We are very excited to play at home in Terrassa. We hope that the Spanish crowd can enjoy our performance and Spain can play the FIH Hockey Pro League next season.” 

HOCKEY - Women 11 Dec, 2022

Nations Cup Spain 2022: what the coaches have to say
Sports Bulletin Report Valencia (Spain): With less than 24 hours to go for the inaugural FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup Spain 2022, the coaches of all teams have spoken to express their expectations. Sergio Virgil, Head Coach (Chile) “The possibility of playing the Nations cup in Valencia is a great new dream for Chile. We will play with teams that, years ago, we saw on television, and we will learn from them. Our goal is to continue improving as a team.” Adrian Locke, Head Coach (Spain) “I'm really looking forward to the tournament. It's a new tournament with lots of exciting teams who are pretty evenly matched. I'm sure there are going to be some surprising results along the way. All the players and staff can't wait to get started.” Janneke Schopman, Head Coach (India) “We are very excited to play in the FIH Nations Cup, it will be a very exciting tournament and we are hoping to show our progress made in the last couple of months. I hope all our fans will follow us and watch us on and we can use all of the support, and go India!” Sean Dancer, Head Coach (Ireland) “Results are important for us, and we will be focusing on managing games, and doing the simple things well to give ourselves the best chance of being successful.” Jude Menezes, Head Coach (Japan) “Our focus is on winning the nations cup as it will provide us with the opportunity to compete in the Pro League and play against the best teams in the world.” Han Jin Soo, Head Coach (Korea) “We have brought some new players who have never played internationally but I expect them to do very well. The Nations cup is a good opportunity for us and we hope to win so we can play in the Pro League.” Giles Bonnet, Head Coach (South Africa) “This is the beginning of a new and exciting cycle for the South African Women’s Hockey Team. The FIH Nations Cup presents us with our first opportunity to match up and test ourselves against higher ranked teams. We look forward to the opportunity and the challenge!” Robert Justus, Head Coach (Italy) “We are here to perform to our maximum abilities. We want to grow with every international game we play and are hoping for some good results. We dream of that. This tournament will give us a good perspective of our qualities.”

HOCKEY - Women 08 Aug, 2022

England secure maiden Commonwealth Games title as India win bronze medal
Sports Bulletin Report Birmingham (UK):-The day began with India’s women securing bronze medal via a dramatic shoot-out, while Canada earnt 5th spot. In the afternoon the women’s gold medal match saw England win their first ever Commonwealth Games gold medal in front of a delirious home crowd. The day ended with New Zealand’s men securing 5th place, a game that saw Wales confirm their highest ever games finish. England 2 Australia 1 (Gold medal women) England struck gold against Australia, winning their first Commonwealth Games gold medal. The first quarter had all the hall-marks of a game of this magnitude as the sides looked to work each other out and get the upper hand. The last few minutes of the opening 15 featured a string of penalty corners for England, with Grace Balsdon seeing her first few efforts on goal dealt with by a firm Hockeyroos defence and keeper Aleisha Power. It was to be England who would break the deadlock, as a fine touch and finish was executed to full effect by Holly Hunt on the 22nd minute. A good quarter became even better for the hosts - who were backed by a raucous crowd at the University of Birmingham – when 4 minutes later Tess Howard doubled the lead with a great touch into the Hockeyroos goal. A pair of great efforts had English fans dreaming as the players headed off for half-time. The third period was a bit more cagey, as Australia looked to make inroads into the English lead. English keeper Madeleine Hinch was called into action, denying Stephanie Kershaw. After absorbing the Aussie pressure England looked to get back to their work, and with 5 minutes left of the period the lead was almost 3 when Anna Toman saw her penalty corner effort come back off the post. Another 15 were banked as the score remained 2-0 heading into the final period. As Australia pushed on in search of a breakthrough it was a case of holding their nerve for England, they knew the Hockeyroos would put it all on the line in search of a comeback. Australia forced a number of penalty corners but keeper Hinch and her defence dealt with everything that was thrown their way. With 20 seconds to goal hearts would have been in England mouths when Ambrosia Malone finally got the Aussie goal from a penalty corner after some relentless attacking. However, it would prove to be too little too late as England held on for the 2-1 win. For the hosts it was the stuff of dreams, a first Commonwealth Games gold medal on home soil, while Australia picked up their second consecutive silver medal. Results (Women's Competition): New Zealand 1 (1) India 1 (2) (Bronze medal match women) Umpires: Rachel Williams (ENG) Aleisha Neumann (AUS) Cathy Wright (WAL-video) Canada 3 Scotland 1 (Classification 5-6 women) Umpires: Katrina Turner (NZL) Hannah Harrison (ENG) Rhiannon Murrie (AUS-video) England 2 Australia 1 (Gold medal women) Umpires: Amber Church (NZL) Wanri Venter (RSA) Cathy Wright (WAL-video) Results Men’s Competition New Zealand 2 Wales 1 (Classification 5-6 men)            Umpires: Bruce Bale (ENG) Nick Bennett (ENG) Sean Rapaport (RSA-video)

HOCKEY - Women 06 Aug, 2022

Women Hockey: England and Australia both win in shoot-outs to reach the final
Sports Bulletin Report Birmingham (UK):-The morning session began with a little bit of history as Kenya’s women secured their first ever Commonwealth games victory. This was followed by South Africa pipping Wales to 7th place in a tight encounter. The evening session started with England booking their spot in Sunday’s gold medal match with a shoot-out win over New Zealand. The second semi-final also went all the way, as Australia came out on top. England 0 (2) New Zealand 0 (0) (Semi-final women): England booked their place in the final after a dramatic shoot-out victory. Both sides looked up for a game that would guarantee the victors a medal. This was typified by 5 penalty corners - 2 for England and 3 for New Zealand – inside the first 5 minutes of the opening quarter. Chances kept on coming but it was New Zealand who looked the more likely, although they were kept out by a steely England defence and an inspired Madeleine Hinch. It would prove to be a much tighter second quarter, with no clear cut chances or attempts on goal in the 15. England were briefly down to 10 when Giselle Ansley was shown a green card but the Black Sticks could not capitalise. The third period opened up the game once more as both sides looked to assert dominance in the tie. New Zealand had the better of the chances in the initial stages of the period, before England began to counter-punch, creating openings for themselves through Ansley and Peel. The Black Sticks stood strong and Megan Hull had a go at breaking the deadlock in the 42nd minute from a penalty corner. She was denied by the outstanding Hinch once more. While both sides would have been forgiven for becoming conservative in the final quarter, it was quite the opposite as both sides tried to kill the game off before a shoot-out would be required. Both sides had multiple penalty corners and openings however both defences and keepers Hinch and Grace O’Hanlon proved to be too tough to beat. The semi-final would be decided by a shoot-out. Ralph (NZL) missed the opening shot, but so did Howard (ENG). Hinch saved Tynan’s (NZL) effort, before O’Hanlon returned the favour to deny Owsley (ENG). Doar (NZL) was denied by a fantastic Hinch save, which was followed up by Petter (ENG) tucking away her shot. Hinch made another spectacular save to crucially deny Shannon (NZL) and Martin (ENG) became the England hero as she slotted home to send her side to Sunday’s final. Australia 1 (3) India 1 (0) (Semi-final women): Australia will be guaranteed a medal after they edged past India via a shoot-out to set up a final against England. Whilst it was India who managed to get the first penalty corner of the game it was the Hockeyroos who got the scoring started, as Rebecca Greiner deflected the ball home via a Mariah Williams cross. Chances for both sides followed but the score line stayed at 1-0 after an open first 15. As India looked to get back into the tie Aleisha Power in the Hockeyroos net was called into action twice in quick succession. Further chances fell the way of the Asian side but Australia managed to get to half-time unscathed. A re-energised Australia came back out after the break looking to put their foot on the gas. The Hockeyroos carved out multiple opportunities, forcing penalty corner after penalty corner, Maddy Fitzpatrick was single-handedly denied on multiple occasions. Despite the Aussie barrage India did manage to restore parity between the sides in the 49th minute as Vandana Katariya deflected the ball home. Being pegged back did not seem to deter the Kookaburras as they went back to their work, peppering the Indian goal. It was by no means completely one-way traffic however as Power in the Aussie net was again called into action, producing a big save to deny a Kaur Gurjit drag flick. A video referral decision in the last minute would have had Indian hearts in mouths but deciding whether to award between a penalty corner and stroke after the ball hit a defender’s body a corner was given and India cleared their lines. Jocelyn Bartram was introduced in the place of the impressive Power prior to the shoot-out. Malone’s (AUS) initial shot was saved, however in a dramatic turn of events the clock hadn’t started and she was allowed a re-take, making no mistake this time around. Lalremsiami (IND) put her shot wide, while Nobbs (AUS) calmy finished past Savita in the Indian goal. Bartram stepped up to make a huge save to deny Neha (IND), and this was backed up by Lawton (AUS) putting the Hockeyroos 3-0 up. Navneet (IND) had to score but couldn’t, firing wide as Australia booked their spot in Sunday’s final.  Results (Women's Competition): Ghana 2 (2) Kenya 2 (3) (Classification 9-10 women) Umpires: Rhiannon Murrie (AUS) Rebecca Woodcock (ENG) Rachel Williams (ENG-video) Wales 0 South Africa 1 (Classification 7-8 women) Umpires: Lelia Sacre (CAN) Cookie Tan (SGP) Hannah Harrison (ENG-video) England 0 (2) New Zealand 0 (0) (Semi-final women) Umpires: Aleisha Neumann (AUS) Wanri Venter (RSA) Rhiannon Murrie (AUS-video) Australia 1 (3) India 1 (0) (Semi-final women) Umpires: Amber Church (NZL) Hannah Harrison (ENG) Cathy Wright (WAL-video)

HOCKEY - Women 03 Aug, 2022

Commonwealth Games: South African women register three hat-trick scorers
Sports Bulletin Report Birmingham (UK):-The Hockeyroos got day 5 of the games underway, edging out New Zealand in a crunch Pool B tie. This was followed by a convincing Canadian victory over a spirited Ghana. England’s women got the afternoon session underway with an important win over India, while South Africa had 3 separate hat-trick scorers in a substantial win over Kenya. South Africa beat Kenya 15-0 (Pool B women) South Africa picked up their first win in style as they put 15 past Kenya. Jean-Leigh Du Toit got the procession of goals underway, opening the scoring from a penalty corner. A series of chances followed before Tarryn Lombard doubled the lead from another penalty corner. With 4 minutes left of the opening quarter Lilian Du Plessis and Erin Christie both struck, putting South Africa up 4-0 after a clinical first period. Kenya did put up a decent defence in the second quarter, thwarting a series of chances from a goal-hungry South African side. Not to be denied, Du Toit found her second of the game with 4 minutes left of the quarter from a penalty corner. Lombard got back in on the action a minute later, extending the South African lead to 6-0 at half-time. The scoreboard soon ticked over to 7 for South Africa, as 4 minutes into the third quarter Kristen Paton found the back of the goal. Du Plessis added an 8th and it soon became 9 as Du Toit completed her hat-trick. Not satisfied with just 3 goals Du Toit was at it again, grabbing her 4th, and South Africa’s 10th of the match inside a minute of the final period. Du Plessis completed her hat-trick with 9 minutes left on the clock, scoring her 4th a few minutes later. With 3 minutes left in the game Lombard became the 3rd South African to complete a hat-trick, while Du Toit and Bernadette Coston scored the last 2 goals of the afternoon to complete a huge 15-0 win.     Erin Christie (RSA): "We had a goal today. We've been disappointed with our performances in the last four games, so we wanted to come out here and make a stance and show that we're good enough to be here. “Part of that was doing what other teams in the pool have done - and that's scoring a lot of goals." Results (Women's Competition): New Zealand 0 Australia 1 (Pool B women) Umpires: Rachel Williams (ENG) Lelia Sacre (CAN) Cathy Wright (WAL-video) Ghana 1 Canada 8 (Pool A women) Umpires: Aleisha Neumann (AUS) Rhiannon Murrie (AUS) Hannah Harrison (ENG-video) India 1 England 3 (Pool A women) Umpires: Wanri Venter (RSA) Cookie Tan (SGP) Cathy Wright (WAL-video) Kenya 0 South Africa 15 (Pool B women) Umpires: Rebecca Woodcock (ENG) Binish Hayat (PAK) Amber Church (NZL)

HOCKEY - Women 30 Jul, 2022

Commonwealth Games: New Zealand women record huge victory 16-0 against Kenya
Sports Bulletin Report Birmingham (UK):-New Zealand and Scotland men’s sides played out an incredible 5 all draw in the final game of a day that saw Ghana’s men make their debut in the games against hosts England. Scotland women got their campaign off to a dream start, beating South Africa, while Canada women recorded a comfortable win over Wales. New Zealand’s women were also in action, recording a massive victory over Kenya. Women’s Results (July 29, 2022): New Zealand 16 Kenya 0 (Pool B women) Umpires: Rachel Williams (GBR) Lelia Sacre (CAN) Aleisha Neumann (AUS-video) South Africa 2 Scotland 4 (Pool B women) Umpires:  Hannah Harrison (GBR) Cathy Wright (GBR) Cookie Tan (SGP-video) India 5 Ghana 0 (Pool A women) Umpires: Wanri Venter (RSA) Katrina Turner (NZL) Aleisha Neumann (AUS-video) Canada 4 Wales 0 (Pool A women) Umpires: Amber Church (NZL) Binish Hayat (PAK) Cookie Tan (SGP-video) Men’s Results (July 29, 2022): England 6 Ghana 0 (Pool B men) Umpires: Tim Bond (NZL) Ilanggo Kanabathu (MAS) Sean Rapaport (RSA-video) New Zealand 5 Scotland 5 Umpires: Tyler Klenk (CAN) Peter Obalo Kabaso (KEN) Deepak Chandra Joshi (IND-video)

HOCKEY - Women 28 Jul, 2022

Maria Jose Granatto wins Poligras Magic Skill Award
Sports Bulletin Report Lausanne (Switzerland):-Fans around the world have elected the exceptionally skillful Maria Jose Granatto (ARG) as winner of the Poligras Magic Skill Award for the incredible pass through her legs that she did during the Argentina-Canada match of the outstanding FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup Spain and Netherlands 2022. Las Leonas’ number 10 scored 6439 points, just ahead of her teammate, goalkeeper Belen Succi (5974 pts). The South American duo precedes Eva de Goede (NED – 2635 points), Zhong Jiaqi (CHN – 1434 points) and Charlotte Stapenhorst (GER – 1404 points), who all showcased amazing skills as well! “This award is very important because it is chosen by the people, who are always watching, encouraging and supporting us. The fact that they voted for me means a lot to me. It's a nice recognition”, Maria Jose Granatto said. Commenting on the skill itself, she said: “It’s a skill that a hockey mate has been doing a lot during training sessions and we laughed about it, imagining we could do it one day during a match! I did it during training sessions too, but used to practicing it alone, not even in a one-on-one. I was encouraging myself to do it, but it was simply to challenge myself and go for it, without thinking too much about it.”

HOCKEY - Women 18 Jul, 2022

Netherlands tame Las Leonas to win ninth World Cup Hockey title in style
Sports Bulletin Reporter ISLAMABAD:-Netherlands thrashed Argentina 3-1 in the final of the Women’s Hockey World Cup 2022 at the Estadio Olimpic de Terrassa, Spain, as Australia outplayed Germany 2-1 in the third position contest at the same venue before final. Argentina vs Netherlands beat Argentina 3-1 (Final): There were tears at the national anthems with some athletes knowing this was their final match for their country. Belen Succi and Marloes Keetels have already announced this is their last outing in the national shirt but there were other players fighting back the emotions ahead of this highly anticipated final. Argentina had the very early pressure with two penalty corners in the first minute. Keetels, who was wearing the captain's armband, stopped the first off the line and the second saw Austina Gorzelany put her shot high over the crossbar. Netherlands first meaningful attack came through the speed and skill of Felice Albers. However, Gorzelany is not just a scoring machine; on this occasion she showed all her defensive ability to steal the ball from Albers' stick. The first quarter ended goalless with both teams having enjoyed a smattering of attempts but neither side having edged ahead in terms of shots on goal or possession. One minute into the second quarter and Albers strode forward to intercept a high aerial thrown by Valentina Costa. Her movement into the circle forced a foul and subsequent penalty corner. It was the opening the reigning champions were waiting for. Yibbi Jansen shot and Maria Verschoor was on hand to slot the ball past Belen Succi to give the team an invaluable goal lead. The difference between the two teams at this point was that the Netherlands were playing quickly but Argentina were doing everything in a rush. Netherlands second goal came via the route one approach. Pien Sanders threw a fabulous aerial. Laurien Leurink collected and threaded a pass to Frederique Matla. Matla put the ball high into Succi's net. The half-time break could not have come quick enough for Argentina as they held on to see out the threat of two penalty corners on the stroke of half-time, with Belen Succi sustaining an injury in the process. Argentina came out for the second half determined to cut the Dutch lead but in their search for a goal the team lost their composure. No such problem existed for the Netherlands. The third goal was a supremely confident piece of team work topped by some sheer individual brilliance. Eve de Goede and Sanders played the ball out of defence with a series of intricate little 'give and go' passes, then released the ball to Albers who carved her way through the Argentina midfield and defence before shooting past Succi. One minute into the fourth quarter and Albertarrio showed that she wasn't giving up the fight. The forward won the penalty corner and Gorzelany sent the ball high into Josine Koning's goal. This galvanised Las Leonas and there was a lot of forward motion. The problem was that the team wasn't connecting and too many passes went astray or were sent hopefully towards the Dutch circle. The Netherlands weathered the Argentina storm and won another penalty corner. Eva de Goede thought she had scored a goal to mark her return to the team but the whistle had gone and the midfielder was denied. Player of the Match Felice Albers (NED) said: 'It is a great feeling. I am so proud of our team. This was the best version of our team. We were the best team today and that was our best game of the tournament.' Australia beat Germany 2-1 (3rd place): After their breakneck start against Argentina the previous day, Germany started at a slightly less frenetic pace in the bronze medal match. This translated into a more structured performance from the European team but with few opportunities to put the Australia defence under attack. That all changed in the 14th minute when Hanna Granitski found Lena Micheel with a beautiful pass that dissected the midfield. Micheel ghosted through the defence and her running shot flew past Jocelyn Bartram into the Australia goal. The second quarter saw Australia finding their feet in the game to a greater degree. Stephanie Kershaw, who has had an excellent World Cup, was instrumental in driving the team forwards. Her through balls to the forwards were asking questions of the German defence. The first penalty corner of the match went Germany's way after some good work by Micheel and Nike Lorenz. Goalkeeper Bartram and her defence dealt with the penalty corner attempt well. That was the only real scoring chance in the second quarter as both sides struggled to find a way past two well coached defensive units. Australia's first real chance came when they broke through the middle of the pitch early in the second quarter. Again it was Kershaw who started the move and her pass found Rosie Malone. The forward had eyes only for the goal as she sprinted forward but she was met by German goalkeeper Nathalie Kubalski who blocked Malone's run until the defence were able to recover. German countered quickly as Pia Maertens broke through and only had Bartram to beat. The Australian goalkeeper read the move brilliantly and made a fantastic save to keep her team in the match. Australia thought they had got back into the game just before the break at the end of the third quarter. A sustained period of play led to a penalty corner but Maertens was fulfilling her defensive roles as much as her attacking ones and she picked the ball from mid-air as it was headed goalwards from a Renee Taylor shot. Germany started the final quarter at top pace as they sought to build on their narrow 1-0 lead. Two penalty corners gave them opportunities from the top of the D, but Australia's defence held strong. That strong defence paid dividends a few minutes later when Stephanie Kershaw bullishly made her way through the German defence and created enough space to shoot past Kubalski and bring the scores level with just over 10 minutes left to play. In a sub-story to the match a dual was emerging between Bartram and Maertens as the goalkeeper denied the attacking midfielder on a number of occasions, including two quite amazing saves in the fourth quarter. Australia took the lead with five minutes left when Kershaw popped up to pounce onto a shot from Claire Colwill. The whole move had started with the sterling work of Amy Lawton, who had been driving the team forwards throughout the match. Germany instantly removed their goalkeeper to get an on-field player advantage but it was to no avail as Australia kept their cool and composure to run the clock down to deny a German revival and to seal the bronze medal. Player of the Match Jocelyn Bartram (AUS) said: 'I feel just so elated. That was a tough game and Germany were a tough opponent but we stuck to our processes and pulled through. I have been working hard in the past few years to get my chance but my teammates deserve the credit because they always have my back.' Individual Awards: Odisha Best Player Award: Maria Granatto (ARG) Best Junior Player: Charlotte Engelbert (BEL) Best Goalkeeper: Belen Succi (ARG) Hero Top goalscorer: Agustina Gorzelany (ARG) - 8 goals (7 pc & 1 ps)

HOCKEY - Women 17 Jul, 2022

World Cup 2022: Netherlands and Argentina set to meet in final
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-After two weeks of intense competition, it is the final that so many hockey fans have been looking to with keen anticipation. Netherlands overcame a strong and impressive challenge from Australia, while Argentina and Germany couldn't be separated in one of the most entertaining matches of recent times. It took the cruel ending of a shoot-out to send Las Leonas to a date with Oranje at the Estadio Olimpic de Terrassa on Sunday. Netherlands are seeking an impressive ninth title, while two-time champions Argentina will look to win the trophy for the first time since 2010. If the two semi-finals were anything to go by, the final should be an amazing showcase for the sport. Australia and Germany, who both deserve plaudits for their performances in the semi-finals, will be battling for a bronze medal. Netherlands beat Australia 1-0 (Semi-final): It was all even at the end of the first 15 minutes of the semi-final between Netherlands and Australia, although much of the action had taken place at the Australia defensive end of the pitch. While Anne Veenendaal was largely a spectator, she might have been surprised to see some of her team mates failing to show their usual high levels of performance, with passes going off target and some poor decisions being made. Towards the end of the opening quarter the Netherlands began to play their flowing game but Australia's harrying style was disrupting their play. The second quarter began with a beautiful interchange between Eva de Goede, Pien Sanders and Lidewij Welten. This might have acted as a warning to the Hockeyroos but they had ambitions of their own and Rosie Malone caused Veenendaal to react when she unleashed a shot high at the Dutch goal. The Australia defence, particularly Stephanie Kershaw and Karri Somerville, were putting in a shift as they stepped up on the Dutch attack and forced some unusual errors from the Dutch attacking force. The first penalty corner was won by the Netherlands in the 28th minute. The shot from Laurien Leurink was saved by Renee Taylor on the post and cleared to safety. The second half started with a second penalty corner for the Netherlands. It was won by Lidewij Welten, who had emerged from the break with a hugely determined look. Frederique Matla's shot was chased down but a re-award was given after it struck a foot. Jocelyn Bartram made a tremendous save to keep the scores level. A super solo run by Welten in the 42nd minute led to the Netherlands' 11th penalty corner attempt. Harriet Shand was the defender who prevented Welten from unleashing a shot, but Frederique Matla made no mistake from the top of the D as she sent the ball flying past Bartram into the right hand corner of her goal. A lovely interchange between Felice Albers and Maria Verschoor nearly put the game completely beyond Australia's reach in the 55th minute but the final shot fizzed past the post. A final chance for Australia came in the 59th minute as Australia won their second penalty corner. But this was the Netherlands in close-out mood and the threat was averted. Australia threatened to the final moment but the sole goal from Matla sealed the Netherlands' passage Argentina beat Germany 2-2 (4-2-Semi-final): It was just 23 seconds into the game when Germany took the lead, scoring from their first penalty corner as Die Danas set off at a blistering pace. The passionate pre-match team talk from Anne Schroeder had fired the team up and Sonja Zimmermann placed the shot perfectly for Hanna Granitzki to deflect past Belen Succi in the Argentina goal. Argentina raced up the pitch instantly but the resulting shot from the counter attack saw Victoria Granatto just miss the goal. However, seconds later, Granatto was at it again and her skill won Las Leonas their first penalty corner. Cecile Pieper ran out bravely to block Agustina Gorzelany's shot. The quarter continued at a frenetic pace with Selin Oruz for Germany showing superb 3D skills as she lifted the ball and shot straight into Succi. At the other end, Delfina Thome showed mesmerising skill to get round the defence but her shot was saved by Julia Sonntag. The quarter which began so dramtically ended in equally dramatic fashion. Argentina referred a decision and were awarded a penalty corner, which Agustina Gorzelany converted to take her to the top of the goalscoring table with seven goals in total throughout the tournament. The second quarter showed no sign of being any less entertaining and it was largely Germany showing the creativity. First Anne Schroeder vollied a ball into the goal but it was disallowed. Then Charlotte Stapenhorst showed incredible awareness as she tried to lift the ball over Succi. That attempt just crept over the cross bar. Jette Fleschutz tried to get in on the action but her shot also flew high. The next goal came from the quick thinking of Sofia Toccalino. Germany had switched off after a foul and Toccalino ran the ball into the circle and flung it goalwards. In true forwards' style Agustina Albertarrio claimed the final touch. The second half began with Argentina looking more in control. Some of the creativity had seeped from the German attack, although the German defence was looking really focused and was coping really well with all that Argentina threw their way. The game swung again at the end of the third quarter when a marvellous finish from Charlotte Stapenhorst brought Germany level. Germany had enjoyed some sustained pressure and when Anne Schroeder entered the circle and shot at goal, it was Stapenhorst who reacted first to pick the ball from midair and send it over Succi.