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Jr women's hockey world cup: Germany storm into final, to clash with Netherlands

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Potchefstroom (S Africa), April 10 (IANS) Germany steamrollered England in an 8-0 demolition to set up a summit clash with the Netherlands in FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup here on Sunday.

While Germany went on a goal-scoring spree against England, the Netherlands overcame India 3-0 in a well-fought encounter in which the winners scored two goals in the final quarter.

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Thus Germany will take on the Netherlands in the final on Monday while India will meet England in the third-fourth place match.

Germany got off to a dream start in the second semi-final when they scored an early penalty corner goal.

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The goal was created and scored by Verena Neumann who ran the ball into the circle to win the penalty corner and was then the beneficiary of a penalty corner variation, which saw the ball played back to her as the injector. She stooped low to sweep the ball into the net.

England were left stunned just two minutes later when Germany doubled their lead through a fantastically taken drag flick from Stine Kurz. Two penalty corner goals meant the England defence was nervous about conceding another corner.

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A reluctance to make a tackle would explain why Jette Fleschütz was able to run through the defence and pop the ball past Mila Welch in the England goal to give her side a seemingly unassailable 3-0 lead after 15 minutes, the FIH said in a release on Sunday.

Pauline Heinz increased England’s pain in the second quarter off a counter-attack.

Germany’s conversion rate from penalty corners continued to impress as they added to the scoreboard with a third penalty corner from just five attempts. Verena Neumann was able to repeat her first goal as the penalty corner was played back to her as she moved from the injection point towards the goal.

Neumann scored her hat-trick a minute later when she latched onto a shot into the circle and just did enough to wrong-foot Evie Wood who had replaced Mila Welch in the England goal.

Two more goals followed. Sophia Schwabe capped an impressive performance with a goal after Sara Strauss had shown her commitment with a full-length diving effort at the end of the pitch to keep the ball in play and send it back to Strauss. Then Lily Stoffelsma finished things off with a craftily lifted ball over Woods in the final seconds of the match.

Player of the Match‘Verena Neumann said: ‘It was not our best game but we went out as a team and we won it as a team. I think we are really happy to play the Netherlands. We know them well and we want to beat them.”

Head Coach Akim Bouchouchi said: “I am happy with this game and the impressive finishing. We will celebrate that. Then we will focus on the next game and we will win the next one also. We will watch the video and decide what game plan to use against the Dutch.”

England Head Coach Simon Letchford said: “I think there are positives to take from the time we have been in South Africa. As a group, we only had three training camps before coming here, so the younger members have learnt a huge amount. What can we take from the game is how to be a better side. When we arrived we set no objectives, we just said we would go as deep as we could into the tournament. We are in the penultimate game, so we couldn’t go too much deeper.”

–IANS

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