Investec World League Semi-final London – day two

[img_assist|nid=8406|title=Macarena Ronsisvalli|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=220|height=311]Macarena gets Italy dancing

Italy 2 USA 1

Italy stunned the USA with a winner 24 seconds from time after an earlier Macarena Ronsisvalli strike levelled USA’s opener from Michelle Kasold.

The late winner from the 17th-ranked side’s Stefania Tosca was followed by some serious Italian jumping and the most delayed video appeal in history – ever. But the goal – a tidy finish close in from the left side of the goal from a bouncing ball – was righly allowed.

Kasold set the USA away in the 22nd minute with a drilled shot from the top of the circle. Six minutes later Ronsisvalli attacked the 23m line then carried the ball to the circle to hit a rasping shot home – one of the best goals of the tournament so far.

The tenth-ranked USA were left ruing a scuffed penalty stroke from Caroline Nichols which the diminutive Martina Chirico managed to divert along the goal-line with the inside of her left kicker.

For more day two pictures see the gallery.

Rebecchi seals late Leonas win[img_assist|nid=8411|title=Decisive goal|desc=Carla Rebecchi|link=node|align=left|width=220|height=331]

Argentina 3 China 2

Carla Rebecchi scored an 69th minute winner for an Argentina side who were lulled by China’s lack of endeavour into aloowing them back into the game.

Las Leonas controlled the first half going into the break with a 2-0 lead tanks to an unstoppable corner deflection from Rosario Luchetti and a fierce strike from Rebecchi. 

The hard-working Li Hongxia produced a reverse hit to give China a chance, but even so the China equaliser came as a surprise with Argentina seemingly playing the game out, in control. But Wang Mengyu buried a corner to set up Rebecchi’s neat squeezed finish in the 69th minute from a scruffy bouncing ball about six metres out.

South Africa fail to turn dominace into a win

South Africa 2 Spain 2

by Jonathan Cook

The Investec South Africa women’s hockey team dominated the Investec World League Pool B match against Spain at the University of Westminster in Chiswick, London Sunday night but had to be content with sharing the spoils 2-2.

SA had more than double the number of goal shots in the first half but Spain led 1-0 at the break thanks to a cracking strike from Carlota Petchame in the 31st minute, just four minutes before half-time.

Spain felt they had scored another goal a minute after the changeover when a cracking shot from Berta Bonastre on the reverse-stick slammed into the backboard but the umpires disallowed the effort for deliberate shielding of the ball.

SA hit back in the second half when Tarryn Bright stroked in the equaliser from a penalty corner in the 50th minute (1-1).

In the 54th minute of the second half Pietie Coetzee hit the post with a deflection shot off Nicolene Terblanche’s long slap-pass.

SA again had the lion’s share of shots on goal in the second half, and in the 61st minute it was Coetzee who scored her 274th goal in 268 Test matches, this time from a penalty stroke after captain Marsha Cox’s rebound effort hit a defender’s foot on the goalline.

However the 2-1 lead became 2-2 just two minutes later when Maria Romagosa smashed in the equaliser in the 63rd minute.

Cox, in the left channel, and Shelley Russell, on the right-hand touchline, were constant threats as the Spaniards battled to stay the pace.

In the dying minutes there was much drama, and a penalty stroke award to Spain was turned down while SA also repelled two controversially awarded penalty corners.

SA meet leaders Australia at 6.30 pm SA time Tuesday in their final Pool B match and are likely to meet China in the quarter-finals on Thursday, this format giving every team a second crack at getting amongst the medals.