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Netherlands and Australia squeak into final on tense day at the Investec London Cup

[img_assist|nid=3940|title=Close fight|desc=Holland’s Claire Verhage (right) challenges South Africa captain Marsha Marescia, semi-final Investec London Cup – Ady Kerry|link=node|align=right|width=180|height=173]Tournament favourites the number-one-ranked Netherlands were taken to a shootout by South Africa while Australia sealed a final place after the clock had run out on at the Investec London Cup.

The Netherlands took an early two-goal lead in Saturday’s first semi-final against South Africa. But they were then guilty of setting the cruise control and needed a flawless shootout performace to save face against the side 11 places below them in the world rankings.South Africa were slow to react at the top of the circle and Kelly Jonker scored after three minutes. Then Maartje Paumen netted a trademark corner after 10. South Africa hit back when Piete Coetzee stroked home a reverse hit in the 32nd minute. The world record goalscorer then levelled the game with a corner in the 55th minute – after fine work by Jen Wilson.  

That set up the shootout where Naomi van As, Paumen, Willemijn Bos, and Eva de Goede all did their thing for the Dutch with the eight-seconds-to-score shuttles. Misses from Lesle-Ann George and Tarryn Bright denied SA what would have been a shock final place.

Germany, ranked three, also took an early lead in their semi, through Maike Stockel. They then went up 2-0 14 minutes into the second half through Eileen Hoffman, again through open play. Australia struck back through Kobe McGurk before sealing a final place with an Anna Flanagan corner into the left side of teh net after time had run out.

 

Sundays games are now: 

10:30am GB v Ireland (5/6th place)
1.15pm South Africa vs Germany (Bronze)
4pm Netherlands vs Australia 

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