World Cup 2014: Day 9 Round-Up.

Another day of high drama at the Hockey World Cup comes to an end. With semi-final spots being won and lost and with plenty on the line it was all to play for. Find out what happened in each of the games.

Women’s Pool A: Australia 0-0 New Zealand.

A tired looking display from both sides in the morning heat of the Kyocera Stadium resulted in a 0-0 draw. With the punishing tournament schedule clearly taking its toll both sides were a little way off their best. New Zealand needed a win to have any chance of making the semi-finals but they could not break Adam Commens’ side down in a cagey contest. Anita Punt had a penalty corner saved by Rachael Lynch in the first half but chances were proving hard to come by.
The Hockeyroos thought they’d taken the lead in the second half as Emily Hurtz found the net but New Zealand used their video referral to have the goal overturned due to the free-hit not being stopped before it was taken.

The game finished goalless and means that Australia’s fate is in the hands of the Netherlands in the afternoon game with Korea. A win or a draw for the hosts will send Australia into the semi-finals.

Men’s Pool A: Australia 4-0 India.

A brace from Chris Ciriello and further goals from Kieran Govers and Jeremy Hayward gave Australia another win to ensure they will finish top of the pool but of more pressing concern was the injury sustained by captain Mark Knowles. Knowles left on a stretcher with his neck in a brace following a collision but was later declared ok and back on Twitter thanking people for their well wishes!

In terms of the game itself, it was another polished display by the Kookburras. They scored early through a Kieran Govers strike which gave them the foothold they needed in the game. India worked hard to get themselves into the contest but it was their goalkeeper, PR Sreejesh who was the busier of the two custodians. Australia made it 2-0 on 16 minutes with Ciriello’s first of the day.

Jeremy Hayward scored his first of the competition in the 20th minute and then two minutes later Ciriello found the bottom corner from another penalty corner. The second half yielded no further goals, and was notable only for the injury to Knowles who Rich Charlesworth will hope to have back for the semi-final.

Men’s Pool A: Spain 5-2 Malaysia:

Spain collected their first win of the competition with a five-star display to see off Malaysia and leave their opponents rooted to the bottom of the pool without a point.

A brace from Gabi Dabanch and goals from Marc Salles, Santi Freixa and Sergi Enrique did the damage whilst Tengku Ahmad and Fitri Saari replied for the Malaysians.

It was another game of outstanding goalkeeping from Kumar Subramiam who made a series of stunning saves including one where he headed a shot away from Roc Oliva’s close range effort.

Dabanch opened the scoring before a quarter of an hour had passed with a lovely reverse stick shot but Malaysia drew level in the 24th minute with a tidy strike from Ahmad.

The game became a bad tempered one with a flurry of green and yellow cards. With Malaysia down to nine and Spain ten, Salles took advantage of the space and beat Kumar with a fierce strike to give Spain the advantage at half time.

Freixa scored from a penalty corner and then Dabanch nutmegged Kumar for his second but Malaysia pulled one back from a Saari penalty stroke. Enrique put the gloss on the scoreline with a fifth two minutes before the end and Spain had finally managed their first win.

Women’s Pool A: Netherlands 3-0 Korea.

Two goals from Marrtje Paumen and a second of the tournament for Naomi Van As maintained the hosts’ perfect record in the competition so far and sent them into the semi-finals in great form. The Dutch dominated the first half and had it not been for some excellent goalkeeping from Soo Ji Jang they could have been out of sight at the break. Korea threatened on the break with Mihyun Park and captain Jongeun Kim looking bright and inventive with a lot of pace and trickery.

The first goal came in the third minute. Jang saved well from a Paumen penalty corner but Van As was on hand to slam home the rebound. That’s how it stayed until half-time as Jang did her best to keep the Netherlands at bay. After the break Joyce Sombroek was called into action and made a comfortable save from Kim’s penalty corner and then she did well to dash from her line to block a good chance from the same player.

In the 48th minute, the Dutch won a penalty stroke via a video referral and Paumen made no mistake, sending an excellent flick into the roof of the net. Seven minutes later she beat Jang with a drag flick from a penalty corner to make the game safe. Korea forced a couple of penalty corners but were unable to capitalise. Paumen had a chance to complete her hat-trick from a corner on full time but her effort flashed wide.

The Orange Machine rolls on and will surely take some stopping in the semi-finals.

Women’s Pool A: Japan 2-2 Belgium.

Belgium remained rooted to the foot of the table after a 2-2 draw against Japan with all the goals coming in the second half. In a cagey first period each side had one clear chance each, with Japan’s Ayaka Nishimura flashing a deflection just wide and Lieselotte van Lindt having an effort cleared off the line.

Belgium did their best to give Japan a sporting chance, breaking early on two penalty corners late in the half meaning they defended with three instead of five players. Somehow, the defence cleared the danger and it was still 0-0 at half time.

Belgium took the lead just minutes into the second half. Emilie Sinia deflected the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs to break the deadlock. Japan drew level in the 44th minute with a wonderful goal from Ayaka Nishimura who volleyed the ball on her reverse stick side past the goalkeeper from close in.

Akane Shibata gave Japan the lead but Belgium drew level when their move to a kicking-back paid off. Manon Simons found the roof the net and they almost forced a winner with a late penalty corner that Japan did well to see off. The result means the Red Panthers will play for 11th-12th place whilst Japan will go for the 9th-10th place match.

Men’s Pool A: Belgium 2-3 England.

Full report here.

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