First day of the women’s world league semi finals in Rotterdam

[img_assist|nid=8244|title=Rabobank World League semi final|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=150|height=150]Netherlands – Japan 1-1 (1-0 halftime)

On the surface, it seemed World #1 and host Netherlands was having no problem in their opening game of the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final as they controlled all aspects of the game against #9 Japan. But the one thing the Dutch could not do was convert their many opportunities into goals and in the end, the failure to convert cost them the win as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Despite some good chances throughout the first half, it wasn’t until the 28th minute that the hosts got onto the scoreboard. Captain Maartje Paumen stepped up and easily scored on a penalty stroke to give the Dutch the 1-0 lead.

The score stayed locked at 1-0 through much of the second half, despite some early penalty corner chances for the Netherlands. But the Dutch failure to capitalize on their chances came back to haunt them late in the game when Japan’s Akane Shibata put in the equalizer with a spinning move in the D to tie the game at one.

With the pressure suddenly on the Netherlands to convert one of the their many chances, the last 10 minutes was more frenzied, but ultimately, they had to settle for the 1-1 draw and learning the hard lesson that it’s not shots on goal that count, it’s goals.

Korea – Chile 0-2 (2-1 halftime)

Chile entered the Rabobank Hockey World League as the long-shot team, weighing in at #18 in the FIH World Ranking and one of the surprise entries to make it through to the third round. But today against #8 Korea, the Chileans played like they belonged among the world’s elite.

It wasn’t until Eun Bi Cheon put in a pretty back-handed goal in the 62nd minute that Korea was able to secure the win and the three points. Until that point, Chile had the Koreans on the ropes and even held the lead for a good portion of the game.

Francisca Vidaurre gave her team the lead two minutes into the second half after a strong first-half performance left the teams in a 0-0 deadlock. The advantage stood for nearly 15 minutes until Jong Eun Kim streaked through the slot and scored a picture-perfect game-tying goal. It looked like Chile could at least hang on for the tie, but Cheon put an end to those dreams as her goal with seven minutes left was the death blow for the upset hope.

Germany – Belgium 3-0 (2-0 halftime)

Belgium has been the Cinderella of the Hockey World League, making it to the Semi-Finals all the way from Round 1, but today the clock inched a little closer to midnight as Germany cruised in a 3-0 win.

To be fair to Belgium, the first 10 minutes they were in control of the game, setting a good pace and dominating ball possession. But German captain Julia Müller scored a in the 18th minute to stun Belgians and throw their entire game into disarray. After Müller’s goal the tide changed as the Germans played with a cool confidence and slowly chipped away at Belgium.

Tina Bachmann doubled the lead with a clear penalty stroke shot six minutes after the initial strike, making it 2-0 at the break. In the end, it was an own goal in the 42ndminute that sealed the Belgian’s fate as Germany earned the clear 3-0 win.

Germany and New Zealand, both unbeaten will meet tomorrow, while Belgium faces India, which is also winless thus far. 

New Zealand – India 7-0 (4-0 halftime)

The New Zealand women easily passed their first test at the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final with a 7-0 drubbing over India. New Zealand entered the tournament as the second-highest ranked squad in the eight-team field and the top team in Group B. They had no problem against 12th-ranked India, which was simply overpowered by the Kiwis.

New Zealand jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first half without the aid of single short corner tally. Charlotte Harrison got things started nine minutes into action and a few minutes later, India dug the hole deeper with an own-goal to double the lead. Katie Glynn and Sian Fremaux added one goal apiece to close the first-half scoring.

Glynn and Harrison each added a second goal in the second half, while Krystal Forgesson shot in her first of the game to bring the final to 7-0. With the exception of the own goal, all of the New Zealand goals came from the field in the impressive offensive show.