Day Nine: The Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup

Argentina World Cup 2

Argentina and Spain progressed to the quarter finals of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup after crossover victories over Belgium and Argentina.

Spain won a dramatic shootout against Belgium which went to sudden death while Argentina were comfortable 2-0 winners over New Zealand.

The shootout between Spain and Belgium went to sudden death and after Beatriz Perez had scored for Spain with an incredibly calm back hand effort, Belgium’s Louise Versavel backed into the goalkeeper and her foul saw the Spanish progress.

With Spain 11th in the world rankings and Belgium 13th a close contest was always likely and in normal time the teams largely cancelling each other. With the teams so well matched there was an air of inevitability that it would need a shootout to separate the sides.

Pauline Leclef and Versavel were successful in the shootout for Belgium while Perez and Berta Bonastre held their nerve for Spain to take the teams to sudden death.

Perez strolled into the circle moving to her left and finished strongly into the bottom corner on the reverse. Versavel stepped up to keep Belgium in the tournament but turned her back to the keeper and was adjudged to have made an obstruction which saw Spain to victory.

The Spanish now get ready to face world number six Germany in the quarter-finals on Wednesday 1 August.

The first half between Argentina and New Zealand was equally close with the deadlock being broken on 25 minutes. The ball dropped at the far post but as the Argentinean player went to tuck home she made contact with the lose glove of goalkeeper Grace O'Hanlan and a penalty stroke was awarded.

Noel Barrionuevo stepped up and converted with aplomb to give her side the lead at half-time.

With the lead Argentina immediately took control of the match after the break and were able to keep consistent pressure on the New Zealand back line while keeping the ball for long periods.

Eventually the lead was doubled when from a penalty corner captain Delfina Merino cleverly deflected home from close range to seal the win and secure a quarter final for Argentina against Australia on Wednesday night.