Japan push Germany close at the hockey world cup on day four

Australia 6 India 3
Netherlands 7 New Zealand 3
Germany 2 Japan 1

Picture: Hockeyroos celebrate against India – Treeby Images

Japan came close to shocking one of the tournament favourites Germany while there were big wins for Australia and the Netherlands on day four of the women’s hockey World Cup in Rosario,
Late goals produced a reassuring scoreline but belied the fact that India matched Australia for much of the match – at least until the 52nd minute when the Aussies went 3-2 up. The best goal of the game, from India in the 30th minute, was finished by Rani Rampal – her reverse stick slap-hit sailed high past Rachael Lynch’s glove side at the end of a move set up by another excellent performer on the day, Jaseet Kaur Handa.
Tournament goal machines the Netherlands were far too strong for New Zealand, who struggled to find their way on a blustery cold Argentinian day, despite taking a shock lead with a second minute Krystal Forgesson goal.

The Dutch struck back in the next minute through Ellen Hoog and never looked back. A late rally from the Kiwis gave the Blacksticks a little to smile about but they were completely outplayed by the most impressive side in the tournament to date.
For the handful of spectators who braved the cold, the final game, Germany vs Japan, provided the most exciting match of the day. The Japanese took a shock 1-0 lead just after half time with an Ai Murakami corner and looked good value for an upset for most of the second half. But the Germans managed to edge in front with goals from Maike Stockel and Natascha Keller. Japan had the ball in the net once more but the ‘goal’ was disallowed on video appeal. The Japanese penalty corner was slapped wide of the left post and then swiped high into the German goal – the video umpire ruled the ball had been hit rather than deflected into the net and that this was the first shot of the corner move.