Investec World League Quarter Final: China 3-0 Spain.

China coasted through to a semi final meeting with Australia with a 3-0 win over a plucky Spanish side. Goals from Meiyu Liang, Mengyu Wang and Hongxia Li, her fifth of the tournament were enough to secure the win in a cagey encounter. 

In the first half, chances were hard to come by. Raquel Soler burst into the China D but the chance was smothered by Yimeng Zhang. China’s best chance came from Meiyu Liang who drove in from the left all along the baseline only to lash her shot wide of the far post.

Eight minutes into the second half, China took the lead. At one end, Spain almost scored as Berta Peremateu’s run and shot was scrambled clear. China collected the clearance and swept forwards releasing Liang in the D who rounded the goalkeeper and scored despite the efforts of the defender on the line.

Li showed some excellent skills to create some space in the D but her shot was well saved by Maria Zubiria. Yang Peng also tested the Spain No.1 with a lovely deflection as China turned the screw. On 57 minutes Wang notched her third of the competition with a lovely penalty corner into the top corner.

At the other end Ji Li, a half time replacement in goal kicked clear a Lola Riera drag flick and then made a solid glove save to repel a shot from Maria Lofaro.

With five minutes left to play Li got her goal to maintain her place as the tournament’s top scorer, as she cut in from the left and slotted the ball past the goalkeeper.

Spain tried their best to snatch a consolation but Patricia Casado’s shot went over the bar and that was that.

China now move on to a semi final clash with Australia whilst Spain will face the USA in a classification.

About thetopofthed

Columnist for The Hockey Paper and the man behind The Top of the D. Writer, podcaster, goalkeeper and BBC Sport man. Used to work for Great Britain Hockey and have covered the sport at every major tournament.
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