Holland to take on Argentina for title

Dutch edge out England in penalty shoot-out

It will be a repeat of the Champions Trophy final in Nottingham in July when Argentina beat the Dutch 4-2 for their third successive title.

The Dutch, six times World Cup winners, reached their fourth successive final when they beat England 4-3 on penalty strokes after a 1-1 draw on Thursday.

Argentina, who won the 2002 final against Netherlands in Australia, went through with a 2-1 victory over Germany in the second semifinal.

Netherlands, who scored 25 goals in five pool matches compared to only seven by England, were held scoreless in the opening half for the first time in the tournament.
A hard-working English side went ahead in the 56th minute with a goal by Hannah McLeod from a cross from the right by Crista Cullen.

The Dutch, who had more possession but were kept out by a stern English defence, equalised within five minutes when top scorer Maartje Paumen converted a penalty corner to take her tournament tally to 11.

Dutch goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek made two saves from penalty strokes to one by her opposite number Beth Storry before Kim Lammers converted the stroke that decided the match for the Netherlands.

“It was a very tough match,” Netherlands coach Herman Kruis said. “The first half we missed opportunities. And then England scored in the second half. We tried to force the match and go on the outside and get the penalty corners. I was very proud of my players to make the penalty strokes.”

Praising his team for putting up a tough fight, England coach Danny Kerry said: “I agree with Herman.

“I am incredibly proud of our team. It is difficult for me to say, but I think the Netherlands deserves their place in the final and we pushed them very close.”

Argentina went ahead in 25th minute when captain Luciana Aymar, six times world player of the year, ran through from midfield, went right and shot low across goalkeeper Kristina Reynolds for her fifth goal of the tournament.

Rosario Luchetti added to the lead with seven minutes remaining when, on her knees close to goal, she diverted the loose ball past Reynolds after the keeper had blocked a shot.

Germany's top scorer Maike Stoeckel pulled one back with two minutes remaining, the first goal conceded by Argentina in five matches since their opening 5-2 win over South Africa.

“It was incredible how we played,” Aymar said. “We managed both halves well. I think it was our best game in the tournament. I am very happy. It was a dream semifinal.”
England and Germany will play for the bronze medal on Saturday, also a repeat of the Nottingham third place play-off won by England.

Earlier, Japan beat Spain 2-1 in the play-off for 11th place in the 12-nation tournament. Kaori Chiba scored the winner two minutes from time.

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