Sun, Oct 08, 2006 - Page 22 News List

Hockeyroos book place in final

GOLD MEDAL MATCHUP Australia downed the hosts with a penalty in over time to set up a final match with the Netherlands at the Hockey World Cup in Spain


The Netherlands' Eefke Mulder, top, jumps over Argentina's goalkeeper Mariela Antoniska during their Women's World Cup semi-final hockey match in Madrid on Friday.


Australia set-up a women's World Cup field hockey final against the Netherlands on Friday thanks to a 1-0 extra-time golden goal win over Spain in a match disrupted by a power blackout.

The floodlight failure occurred with just seconds to play in normal time with Spain still to take a corner.

After a 14-minute delay, Australia defended the corner well to send the match into extra time.

Australia went straight onto the attack and won a corner from where Suzie Faulkner deflected a shot from Angie Skirving to score the crucial goal.

"It was an even game, it depended who got the luck and we got the break and Suzie Faulkner got the goal," said Australia coach Frank Murray. "Spain were unlucky. The bizarre circumstances of losing the lights may have upset their final corner but you accept it and move on."

Spain were given little chance against the Aussies after skipper Silvia Munoz had broken her leg against England, but stand-in captain Nuria Camon led by example.

Although Australia dominated possession, Spain had five corners to one in the first half.

They were indebted, however, to goalkeeper Maria Rosa who kept out a number of Australian raids.

The Dutch made the final after a convincing 3-1 success against Argentina.

"We are in with a chance. Against the Netherlands we will need to convert the penetrations into the circle," said Murray ahead of today's final. "We penetrate better than everyone so we have to concentrate on that issue."

Netherlands reached the break a goal to the good after the brilliant Sylvia Karres defied the close attentions of two Argentina defenders to deflect the ball into the goal.

After half time, Argentina knocked the ball around and Agustina Garcia set up a great chance for Alejandra Gulla, however the Netherlands defense held firm on the goal line.

Miek Van Geenhuizen then crushed Argentina's hopes with a stunning tomahawk goal from a narrow angle.

Karres capped a great match by setting up a move that led to Kim Lammers scoring from close to the left post with 10 minutes remaining.

Argentina managed a consolation goal from Maria Hernandez.

USA continued their impressive run in the tournament by upsetting Olympic champions Germany 1-0 in the 5-8 playoffs.

Tiffany Snow scored the winning goal as the States set up a fifth-place clash with Japan.

Kaori Chiba and Sakae Morimoto were the Japanese heroines, scoring one each as Japan beat England 2-0, confining England to a battle for seventh place against Germany.

USA started the tournament ranked 12th in the world but Snow smashed the ball home after the break following fine work by Kate Barber to stun the Olympic champions.

USA and Japan now both have a realistic chance to qualify for the next Champion's Trophy.

Meanwhile, China overpowered South Africa 3-0 in the 9-12 playoffs.

They play South Korea next for ninth spot after the Koreans beat India 4-1.

South Africa and India will face off to try to avoid the tournament's wooden spoon.

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