Day 6 results from Investec World League

SA Spain Story image
South Africa 3 (3)
Lilian Du Plessis, FG, 19
Lilian Du Plessis, FG, 29
Kelly Madsen, FG, 33

Spain 2 (1)
Maria Romagosa, FG, 9
Anabel Flores Conde, FG, 67

South Africa survived a late Spain onslaught to finish the Investec World League tournament with their first win.  South Africa finish in 7th place with a 3-2 victory over Spain, despite going a goal behind in the opening ten minutes. 

A slow start from South Africa was pounced upon by Spain. Maria Romagosa almost opened the scoring, but her goal was ruled out for being too high. Minutes later, however, Romagosa got her chance when she dispatched a shot from the edge of the circle that flew past South Africa goalkeeper Vuyisanani Mangisa. Going a goal behind appeared to be what South Africa needed as they began to take to take control of proceedings. A field goal from Lilian du Plessis that slid past Spanish goalkeeper Maria Lopez De Eguilaz Zubiria leveled the score at 1-1. With the half drawing to a close, Spain were penalized for a foot in the Circle. Du Plessis converted the resulting Penalty Corner giving South Africa a 2-1 lead. South Africa continued to pile on the pressure all the way to the end of the 35 minutes, bombarding Spain’s goal. The pressure paid off when Kelly Madsen scored in the dying moments of the first-half to increase the lead to 3-1. 

South Africa grew in confidence straight from the restart.  The gap appeared too big for Spain, who were coming under immense pressure. But, as the half went on, Spain began to getting a footing in the game. On 67 minutes, Spain closed the gap to 3-2 when Anabel Flores Conde poked the ball in at the near post. Spain needed just one more goal to take the game to a shoot- out. Raquel Huertas Soler had a chance, but her shot fizzed wide. South Africa hit back on the counter when du Plessis got her chance for the hat-trick. In the remaining seconds of the game Flores Conde picked the ball up in the middle of the Circle but her shot flew agonizingly wide.

usa story image

Italy 0 (0)

United States 6 (1)
Jill Witmer, FG, 11
Michelle Kasold, FG, 43
Paige Selenski, 45, 48, 55 (FG,FG,FG)
Shannon Taylor, PC, 65

USA ran out comfortable 6 - 0 winners in this match to determine 5th place in the Investec World League Semi-Final. A Paige Selenski hat-trick in the second half put the game beyond Italy, who can still be pleased at finishing 6th in a tournament where they were the lowest ranked team.

The Italian performances throughout the tournament have won them many fans, not least because of some world-class performances by the likes of captain Chiara Tiddi in defence. But today, their defence was put to the test by a USA team looking for revenge from having lost in the pool games to Italy. USA showed their intent early on, winning an early penalty corner with Paige Selenski striking the post following a powerful run. Their first goal came in the 11th minute when a flowing move was finished off by Jill Witmer. Further chances followed but they were unable to capitalize during the first half.

The game continued in the same vein throughout the second half, with Shannon Taylor having the first good chance when she struck a thunderous shot goalwards. Martina Chirico was equal to it in the Italian goal, turning it behind safely. Chirico was not so fortunate moments later when Michelle Kasold dinked the ball over her to score. Two minutes later, Paige Selenski capitalized on a rare defensive mistake by Italy to score her first of the game, then made it 4 – 0 quickly afterwards with a wonderfully taken reverse-stick shot. 

Selenski, celebrating her birthday today, completed her hat-trick in the 55th minute with another reverse shot, and with 5 minutes remaining, Taylor got the goal she deserved from her earlier efforts, leaving USA with a satisfying win.

Arg China story

Argentina 3 (0)
Carla Rebecchi, PC, 41
Luciana Aymar, FG, 61
Carla Rebecchi, FG, 70

China 2 (0)
Honhxia Li, PC, 51
Meiyu Liang, FG, 65

Argentina clinched their place at the 2014 World Cup in the Netherlands with a dramatic late winner over China in the Investec World League Semi-Finals. Argentina scored the winner with 24 seconds remaining to give them a 3-2 victory. 

As both teams went toe-to-toe in the first half, there was very little between them. Argentina started the brighter when Luciana Aymar and Carla Rebecchi both carved out good chances, but both shooting wide. China created good chances of their own at the end of the first half through Yan Yan but Argentina were able to deal with the danger.

The second period saw Argentina push on with a number of chances in front of goal. Argentina seized their chance when a number of penalty corners were awarded to them and Rebecchi dispatched a shot that squeezed past Ji Li and into the China goal for 1-0. 

China fought hard to gain a footing in the game, and that moment came when tournament leading goalscorer Hongxia Li converted a penalty corner to bring it level.  Moments later, Argentina  made the most of their possession and Rebecchi fired the ball across goal  and Aymar was on hand to poke it in to give them a 2-1 advantage. 

Meiyu Liang and Li brought China another equalizer by combining well outside the circle, Liang finding space to strike straight across goal and past Argentina goalkeeper Maria Mutio. But with the game heading to a shoot-out, in the dying moments Rebecchi lashed the ball under the Li’s foot to secure Argentina the 3-2 win.