Quarter-finals day produced four top class matches with some tremendous skills on display but the performance of the day was that of the German team as they put on a classy show to outgun reigning champions Argentina. India put in a dominating and professional performance to defeat Asian rivals Korea. The Eves barely broke into top gear and it is exciting to think there is much more to come from this team.
It was business as usual for the Netherlands as the Oranje beat South Africa 5-0, despite a strong performance from the host nation. And completing the semi-final line-up is England, who came out on top after a tense and entertaining match with USA.
To see the current standings, please click here.
India 3-0 Korea (quarter-final) – Potchefstroom, North West University (RSA)
Efficiency in attack and speed of play and thought were the differences between these two teams as India showed immense composure and clinical finishing to secure their place in Monday’s semi-finals.
Mumtaz Khan and Lalrindiki both found the back of the net in the first quarter. Khan’s goal was a fantastically worked penalty corner variation, which she deflected home past Kim Eunji in the Malaysia goal. Lalrindiki was the beneficiary after a shot from Deepika rebounded to her and she was perfectly placed to slot the ball home.
At the other end of the pitch, the India defence was equally impressive, a brave, stretching tackle by Lalremsiami summed up the Eve’s commitment levels.
For their part, Korea had no lack of ambition as they sought a way past the India defence, it was just that India looked a level ahead in every aspect of play.
For much of the next two quarters, Korea tightened their defence and India were unable to capitalise on their opening goals. However, with five minutes left of the third quarter, we were offered a glimpse of the skill within the India team. An aerial into the circle found Beauty Dung, who actually mis-hit the ball but in doing so sent a perfect pass to Sangita, who had no hesitation in firing home.
As the final quarter counted down, India were pouring on the pressure but it will be of concern to Head Coach Erik Wonink that no further goals were added despite a barrage of opportunities. Korea’s answer was to try to run the ball at the India defence, but they were always met by a solid India defence.
A delighted Player of the Match, Mumtaz Khan of India, said: ‘I am so happy because we are in the semi-finals.’
Her Head Coach Erik Wonink said: ‘As you can hear, the team are very happy. This is a great experience for them and they have made the next step to the semi-finals. I cannot discuss our game plan but we will focus on ourselves as we have for all the other games. The goals we scored together today were a highlight, I really like that.’
Malaysia’s Head Coach You Moon Ki said: The India team was very strong today and we congratulate them on their performance. Now we have another match to focus on. Our players are tired but this World Cup has been a great experience.’
The result means that India will face Netherlands in what will be a fascinating match in the semi-finals. Malaysia will play the host nation South Africa for 5-8th place.
Netherlands 5-0 South Africa (quarter-final) – Potchefstroom, North West University (RSA)
The scoreline suggests a dominant performance but South Africa posed a challenge to the Netherlands throughout this quarter-final, with only their finishing in front of goal preventing a closer result.
The Netherlands settled into business as usual when Jip Dicke added to her already impressive goal tally with a goal in the fourth minute. The goal was the result of a typical Dutch counter attack, with Dicke the final component in a sweeping movement between the players.
However, they would have been taken aback by some of the brave and speedy running from the Africa players, as they were roared on by the unashamedly partisan crowd. Both Bianca Wood and Onthatile Zulu caused a buzz in the stadium as they weaved crazy paths through the Dutch defence. Both players were clearly disappointed that the final shots didn’t end in the back of the net.
Dicke gave her team a cushion in the 15th minute when she pounced on a loose ball after a good initial save by Mishka Ellis from a Noor Omrani shot. Dicke pulled the ball out of the air to guide it home. This was Dicke’s twelfth goal of the games, keeping her firmly in the top scorers position.
At the end of the first half, South Africa’s shots on goal tally was six, to Netherlands’ eight – the difference, as Head Coach Lenise Marais pointed out, was the finishing.
At the start of the second half, South Africa had yet another chance to rattle the Dutch as they won their third penalty corner. This time, Hari Louw saw her rasping shot fly just wide of Sophia Ter Kuile’s post.
Chances fell to both teams throughout the third quarter, with Dicke coming close to adding to her tally and Zulu’s devastating running creating a handful of scoring opportunities for South Africa.
Things really heated up when an incredible double save by Sophia ter Kuile, first from the penalty corner shot and then from Chante Ferreira’s follow-up, continued to frustrate South Africa. The failure to convert was punished in the 43rd minute when Noor Omrani crashed a shot past Ellis to make it 3-0.
Luna Fokke scored her first of the game in the final minute of the quarter when she sent home a fierce penalty corner.
The fourth quarter saw Netherlands start to contain the free-running threat of the South Africa team. As energy levels sapped, the Dutchbegan to manage the game well, as they passed the ball round and challenged the South Africans to chase the ball. Omrani nearly scored another wonder goal as her creative lifted shot just went over the crossbar.
The coup de grace was issued by Luna Fokke who hit the ball from a penalty corner straight down the pitch at a lightening speed to beat Ellis and rattle the back board.
Player of the Match Rosa Fenig said: ‘We are so happy that we won this game and are now in the semi-finals. It was nice to play the host country. We didn’t start as well as we could play but we turned it round and showed what we could do in the second half.’
Netherlands Head Coach Dave Smolenaars agreed with his captain’s assessment: ‘The start was a bit doubtful but in the second half we were more effective. We were tested by a very energetic team from South Africa. We need to improve more because India has a really good team. We must improve every aspect of our play. South Africa were good on the counter, and India will do that too.’
South Africa’s Head Coach Lenise Marais said: ‘We went out there to play and give ourselves an opportunity. We will work on our finishing. We have another game in a day’s time against Korea so we will look at videos, and we will plan how to best play against them.'
The results mean that Netherlands will now play against India in the semi-finals, while South Africa face Korea in the battle for fifth to eighth place.
England 2-1 USA (quarter-final) – Potchefstroom, North West University (RSA)
USA got off to a fabulous start when they took the lead through Ashley Sessa in the third minute. The energy from the team was palpable as they took the game to their opponents in the opening exchanges and the penalty corner that resulted in a goal was slick and well-rehearsed.
It was Sessa who came closest to increasing the scoreline. She showed enormous skill to create space to enable a lifted shot at goal - England goalkeeper Mila Welch could only watch and hope as the ball just scraped over the crossbar.
The second quarter saw England come back strongly with Maddy Axford at the heart of the England attack. Two consecutive penalty corners for England out pressure on the USA defence and then on the third attempt, England captain Millie Giglio washable to create the space to whip home a reverse stick shot that went straight through the pads of USA goalkeeper Welch.
The score remained at 1-1 to the half-time whistle but it was far from a dull game. Both teams played with real energy and commitment, probably best personified by a full length diving interception from USA captain Kayla Blas just as Vicki McCabe was lining up to shoot.
As the second half progressed, England began to gain a hold on the game. They were spending more time in the USA defensive quarter but each attempt to get into the circle was met by a resolute USA defence.
With six minutes of the third quarter left, the game opened up and both sides found themselves with opportunities. First the Abigail Tamer of USA sped up the field to win a penalty corner but the shot went just wide. Seconds later and Giglio was in a superb position to give her team the lead but she took too long with her shot and it was smothered by the USA goalkeeper Annabel Skubisz.
Giglio and Skubisz continued to have their own personal battle, with the ‘keeper blocking the England skipper’s progress twice more in the dying stages of the third quarter.
The breakthrough, when it came in the 44th minute, was the result of some great running by Vicki McCabe. The forward won a free hit and ran at full pace into the USA circle. Her cross landed perfectly for Maddie Axford to nudge home.
As the teams emerged for the final 15 minutes, there was a real sense that this game was still anyone’s for the taking.
USA had the chance to equalise in the 56th minute but England’s goalkeeper Evie Wood made a magnificent stop with an outstretched foot.
With two minutes left, USA removed their keeper in an attempt to pressure England with an additional field player. The pressure on England mounted and Sessa drew another good save from Wood.
With just seconds left, USA won one last penalty corner. 11 USA athletes lined up around the top of the circle but Wood was the hero as she cleared the shot defiantly out of the circle to send her team through to the semi-finals.
Player of the Match: Millie Giglio (ENG) said: ‘It was a very tough game, we knew it would be physical. We fought quite literally until the last second. It was unfortunate to concede a penalty corner in the last seconds but we held on.
Simon Letchford, the England Head Coach, said: ‘First of all, well played to USA, it was a really good game of hockey. We made it difficult for ourselves as we made chances and should have put the game to bed earlier. But, the way this group has come together so quickly is amazing.’
USA Head Coach Tracey Paul said: ‘Congratulations to England. We will take away a lot of learnings from this game and get better for the next one. I am pleased with the way we fought to the last minute.’
The result means England will now play Germany in the semi-finals, while USA will face Argentina in the 5-8th place matches.
Argentina 1-4 Germany (quarter-final) – Potchefstroom, North West University (RSA)
It was action all the way as Argentina and Germany played out a tense and entertaining match that twisted and turned to the final whistle.
Germany took the lead in the 11th minute after a series of penalty corners, and an Argentina defence that had been reduced to three on the line. Pauline Heinz was the scorer, lifting a rebound over Lourdes Perez in the Argentina goal.
Argentina then won a penalty stroke, but Mali Wichmann in the German goal was equal to the challenge and made a fine save.
Just three minutes into the second quarter, Argentina were stunned when Carlotta Sippel doubled Germany’s lead after Heinz sent a cross into the circle and Sippel deflected it home.
Argentina kept pushing and Valentina Raposa’s fierce shot was saved by Wichmann, who was playing a huge role in maintaining her side’s lead.
That lead was extended when Lilly Stoffelsma scored another penalty corner, rifling her shot straight down the circle past Perez.
Despite being 3-0 down, Argentina looked far from beaten. Wichmann was brought into action time and again but even she couldn’t stop the clever deflection from penalty corner injector Maria Cerundolo after Valentina Raposo hit the initial shot with pinpoint accuracy back to Cerundolo as she ran to the goal.
Germany reclaimed the three goal cushion when Aina Kresken scored a fantastic goal to give her side a 4-1 lead. The ball was played straight down the pitch and Kresken received, turned and fired home.
As the third quarter progressed, there was a definite change in atmosphere. While the German players were looking confident and composed, Argentina were beginning to look like a team who had lost their self belief.
The team in blue and white continued to run at the German defence but they lacked team cohesion, with individuals trying to run through. This meant the German defenders could pick the individual players off easily.
With fifteen minutes left, this was now all down to whether Germany could continue to withstand the Argentina pressure. As the quarter progressed, the tempo of the German team dropped slightly but still Argentina could find no way through.
A rasping penalty corner in the 54th minute from Maria Adorno was saved by Wichmann and then, seconds later, the tall goalkeeper was down low, preventing the ball creeping in at the far post.
Argentina removed their goalkeeper with five minutes left and pushed forwards but Germany were giving a masterclass in defending and game management and there was no way through for the reigning champions.
Player of the Match Mali Wichmann (GER) said: ‘It was a great game, it was an honour to play with this team. It was tough and I am proud of my team.’
Head Coach of Argentina Fernando Ferrara said: ‘Germany played a very good match and defended very well. We will now play one hundred per cent in the next match.
Akim Bouchouchi, Head Coach of Germany said: ‘Mali was really good and exceptional in the last quarter,. I am very happy with her performance. As a team, we played well and kept it going right to the end of the second half.
Germany will now face England in the semi-finals, while it is a Pan American contest for 5-8th place between Argentina and USA.
The action continues on Saturday 9 April, at North West University, with Canada facing Uruguay in the 13th-15th place match, Zimbabwe will then face Austria and Ireland will play Malaysia as the 9-12th places begin to take shape.
From 1–12 April, the Watch.Hockey app will be live streaming all matches, everywhere in the world.
FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup South Africa 2021 – 8 April 2022
Potchefstroom, North West University (RSA)
Result: Match 25
India 3-0 Korea
Player of the Match: Mumtaz Khan (IND)
Umpires: Lisette Baljon (NED ), Ilaria Amorosino (ITA) Sophie Bockelmann (GER - reserve)
Result: Match 26
Netherlands 5, South Africa 0
Player of the Match: Rosa Fenig (NED)
Umpires: Ines El Hajem (FRA), Celine Martin-Schmets (BEL), Ilaria Amorosino (ITA - reserve)
Result: Match 27
England 2, USA 1
Player of the Match: Millie Giglio (ENG)
Umpires: Gema Calderon (ESP), Kim Yoon Seon (KOR), Ines El Hajem (FRA - reserve)
Result: Match 28
Argentina 1, Germany 4
Player of the Match: Mali Wichmann (GER)
Umpires: Alison Keogh (IRL), Ivona Makar(CRO), Lisette Baljon (NED - reserve)
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To see the complete match schedule, please click here.