Four teams book spots for 2018 Women's World Cup in London

Four teams have booked their tickets to the 2018 World Cup in London after securing final four finishes at the Women’s World League Semi-Finals in Brussels.

New Zealand, China, the Netherlands and Korea will all travel to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre next July to contest at the World Cup after strong performances in Belgium.

China produced a shock result as they defeated Australia 2-0 to secure their Hockey World Cup place. Goals from Wu Mengrong and Zhang Jinrong were enough to see China past the Hockeyroos, who are ranked fourth in the world, their wait to qualify goes on.

World number one side the Netherlands put in a classy and composed performance as they comfortably beat Spain 2-0 thanks to a brace from Caia van Maasakker. Spain now head into the 5th-8th place play-offs as they continue to battle for World Cup qualification. 

A dramatic penalty shootout decided the contest between Korea and Belgium but the hosts were edged out. To the disappointment of a large home crowd the Belgians will now enter the 5th-8th placed play-offs as they continue their fight to book a spot in London next year. 

With the four of the event’s five World Cup qualification places filled by the four semi-finalists, there is now considerable interest in the race for fifth place. Italy, Australia, Spain and Belgium will all be focussed on the next match and the chance to play for that all important fifth place on Sunday.

Depending on the outcomes of the upcoming Continental Championships, the number of World Cup qualifiers from the Hockey World League Semi-Final events could increase ensuring that there is still all to play in Brussels.

In Saturday's semi-finals, Korea play China and the Netherlands take on New Zealand. Like the semi-finals, the 5-8 matches take place on Saturday 1 July, with Spain facing Italy and Belgium against Australia.