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  • Germany edge past Poland while Japan and Ireland draw in Pool A
  • USA overcome Chile in Pool B, moving clear of South Africa & India who draw
  • Race for Hockey World League Final and Hockey World Cup 2018 resumes

Johannesburg, South Africa: Germany and USA both claimed victories on the opening day of the Women’s Hockey World League Semi-Final, making a solid start to their respective pool campaigns in the race to secure World Cup qualification.

The day’s action began in Pool A, where Ireland’s Green Army (FIH Hero World Ranking: 15) produced a high quality display against Japan’s Cherry Blossoms (WR: 11), drawing 1-1 with their higher ranked opponents. The two sides were evenly matched throughout, although it was the Europeans who struck the first blow when Roisin Upton’s penalty corner drag flick rattled the Japanese backboard just before the end of the third quarter. A penalty corner from Shihori Oikawa levelled the scores with nine minutes remaining, ensuring that the points were shared.

“It was an end to end game of hockey and either team could have gone away with all three points,” said Ireland captain Kate Mullan immediately after the game. “From that perspective it would have been nice to take all three points but when you step back and take a look at the rankings it was a good point to get.”

As with the opening game of the competition, Rio 2016 bronze medallists Germany (WR: 7) also waited until the third quarter in their Pool A match against Poland (WR: 18) before breaking the deadlock, with Elisa Gräve forcing home from close range seconds after Camile Nobis hit the frame of the Poland goal. It proved to be the only goal of a game that, in terms of goal-scoring chances, was dominated by Die Danas. However, scoring only one goal proved to be a point of frustration for Germany’s Franzisca Hauke.

“Poland defended really well, it was hard for us”, said Hauke post-match. “‘I’m happy we won, but it wasn’t our best match. We had a lot of chances so we should have scored more goals, but they also had chances so it was a lucky win, I think. We have a lot to improve, but hopefully on Monday we will produce a better performance against Ireland.”

In Pool B, Pan-American rivals USA (WR: 6) and Chile (WR: 20) played out an absorbing contest in which the Americans emerged narrow winners with a 1-0 score-line. Jill Witmer celebrated her 100th senior international appearance with the only goal of the game, although Chile gave a superb showing of themselves and look more than capable of challenging all of their opponents in this pool. “Chile have hugely improved, they were a real threat today”, said USA’s Michelle Vittese after the contest. “I’m pleased to get through it and start the competition with a victory.”

Host nation South Africa (WR: 13) and India (WR: 12) were in action in the final match of the day, with a large contingent of home fans enjoying an entertaining contest despite the scores finishing locked together at 0-0. South Africa arguably had the better of the chances and even had a goal ruled out by the video umpire, but India’s Eves were excellent in defence and deserved their share of the spoils. Although she could not celebrate a win, the experience of the contest left an impression Shelley Jones (formerly Russell). “It was absolutely fantastic to play in front of the home crowd tonight. There was huge roar every time we went forward, which was amazing. It is a good point for us but we want to get as many as we can in the pool phase.”

The action continues on Sunday (9th July) with the start of the men’s competition. In Pool A, New Zealand’s Black Sticks get their competition up and running when they take on Round 2 qualifiers France at 1200 South African Standard Time (UTC +2) before Spain and Japan take to the field at 1400. The Pool B matches begin at 1600 when Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallists Belgium take on Egypt before host nation South Africa play Ireland’s Green Machine at 1800.

We will be providing full coverage of the event via www.fih.ch including reports, news stories, event imagery and much more. There will also be comprehensive coverage of the event via our social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the #HWL2017 hashtag. For information about the broadcasters covering this event, click here.

Event website: click here.
Match schedule: click here.
Hashtag: #HWL2017

Hockey World League Semi-Finals - Johannesburg, South Africa

Results - Women
Pool A:Japan 1, Ireland 1.
Pool A: Germany 1, Poland 0.
Pool B: USA 1, Chile 0
Pool B: South Africa 0, India 0

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Event Media Contact:
Richard Stainthorpe
FIH Media Operations Manager
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+44 7733 322 910

HOCKEY WORLD LEAGUE
10 teams will take part in each Semi-Final. They are comprised of the hosts plus five teams who qualify based on their FIH Hero World Ranking and four teams qualified through Hockey World League Round 2 events. In total, 20 men’s and 20 women’s teams will be taking part in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals.

MEN’S SEMI-FINALS
 Men’s Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final, London 2017 (England, 15-25 June 2017):
Event website

Men’s Hockey World League Semi-Final, Johannesburg 2017 (South Africa, 9-23 July 2017)
Pool A: Australia, New Zealand; Spain; Japan; France.
Pool B: Germany; Belgium South Africa; Ireland; Egypt.
Tickets here

WOMEN’S SEMI-FINALS
Women’s FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final, Brussels 2017 (Belgium, 21 June – 2 July 2017)
Event website

Women’s Hockey World League Semi-Final, Johannesburg 2017 (South Africa, 8-23 July 2017)
Pool A: England; Germany; Japan; Ireland; Poland.
Pool B: Argentina; USA; South Africa; India; Chile.
Tickets here

HOCKEY WORLD LEAGUE FINALS
Qualification information here
Women’s Hockey World League Final, Auckland 2017 (New Zealand 17-25 November)
Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final, Bhubaneswar 2017 (India 1-10 December)

HOCKEY WORLD CUPS 2018
Qualification information
Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 (England, 21 July - 5 August)
Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 (India, 28 November- 16 December 2018)

About the International Hockey Federation (FIH)
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is the world governing body for the sport of hockey, recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Founded in 1924, FIH today has 137 member National Associations. For more information on the Hockey Revolution, visit: fih.ch/inside-fih/our-strategy

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