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Germany women seal their place in the World Cup 2014

[img_assist|nid=8244|title=Rabobank World League semi final|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=125|height=125]Germany women are the first team to secure their place in the World Cup 2014, in The Hague, with a narrow win over Korea 3-2. The Netherlands who qualify automatically as hosts always looked like beating New Zealand in a 5-2 game that really showed their class. They go on to face Germany for the Gold medal match. As the Dutch have a guaranteed place it gives Korea or New Zealand a chance at the last spot in their 3rd/4th play off game. 

Belgium also beat Chile 4-2 and Japan beat India 4-0 so they will meet for the 5th/6th playoff and Chile vs India for the wooden spoon. 
Netherlands – New Zealand 5-2 (3-1 halftime)

The rematch of the Olympic Semi-Final wasn’t quite as dramatic as the game in London, but was still entertaining. The Netherlands built a 3-0 lead in the first 16 minutes and absolutely dominated the early action. Margot van Geffen opened the scoring four minutes into the game and Kim Lammers and Kelly Jonker followed up to built the solid lead.

New Zealand sparked to life with ten minutes to go in the half when Petrea Webster cut the lead to two with a deflection. After the goal, the Black Sticks gained momentum, but could not create any offense to show for their efforts. In the 54th minute the Dutch hammered the final nail in the coffin when Lammers struck for her second goal of the game. About 30 seconds later Kitty van Male tipped the ball in to make it an insurmountable 5-1 lead, killing any hopes New Zealand had of a comeback.

Katie Glynn scored one last-gasp goal, but it did nothing to affect the bottom line as the Black Sticks dropped the 5-2 decision.

Korea – Germany 2-3 (0-1 halftime)

Trailing 2-1 with five minutes left in regulation, Germany mounted an incredible comeback scoring two goals in a three-minute span to claim the 3-2 win. Captain Julia Müller tied the game at two in the 66th minute after Germany was awarded a penalty corner chance. It looked the like game was heading to a shootout when Eileen Hoffmann surprised everyone in the stadium when she got her stick on a centering pass to give Germany the win with just over a minute showing on the clock.

Before the dramatic finale, it was a defensive duel as the two goaltenders were put through a test with shots peppering both sides. Korea’s had two extremely dangerous changes, but at the end of 35 minutes it was Germany that held the 1-0 lead thanks to a penalty corner goal from Lydia Haase, who was celebrating her 100th cap for the Germans.

Korea came storming back in the second half scoring two goals. Seul Ki Cheon scroed both the markers just six minutes apart. The go-ahead goal went right between the legs of German goaltender Barbara Vogel. But Korea had little time to celebrate the lead as the Germans were soon mounting their comeback and moving onto the final game.

Belgium – Chile 4-2 (2-1halftime)

Belgium started out the game strong enough when Erica Coppey scored 11 minutes into action, but the team slowly started to fizzle as the match went on. Chile jumped on the opportunity and scored their second goal of the tournament when Josefa Villalabeitia put the equalizer penalty corner flick. Anne Sophie de Scheemaekere netted the go-ahead goal, also on a flick, to give the Belgians the slim advantage of at the break.

Belgium extended its lead to 3-1 to open the second half, but Chile proved to be an opponent that was tough to shake as six minutes later Chile took advantage of a Belgian miscue and pulled to within one thanks to an own goal. It wasn’t until Coppey struck in the 56th minute that Belgium could start to relax with the two-goal lead that lasted through the final buzzer.

Japan – India 4-0 (2-0 halftime)

Japan played a solid and patient game of hockey, waiting for the best chances to work the ball deep into the Indian D for the easy goals. Ayaka Nishimura scored just two minutes into the game to set the tone. Otsuka followed up with a nearly mirror image goal to make it 2-0 at the break. Otsuka scored her second goal on the first trip down field of the second half to make it a commanding 3-0 lead. Yuri Nagai closed the scoring with 15 minutes left in the game with her point-blank goal. 

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