BARCELONA, Spain – Teams Spain and India both maintained their strong starts in the FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup Spain 2022, winning their second match in a row against Korea for Spain and Japan, respectively.
As a result, Spain and India have already qualified for the semi-finals because no other two teams in their pools can match or surpass their six points. On December 14, Chile and Japan will compete in a winner-takes-all game in Pool B. The other three teams in Pool A, Ireland, Italy, and Korea, all have a chance to capture the second semi-final position in Pool A.
With the help of skipper Kathryn Mullan’s outstanding second half performance, Ireland defeated Italy earlier in the day to get back on track. This victory propelled Ireland to second place in the pool table and set up a pivotal showdown against Korea in the final pool stage game on December 14.
The final game of the day was Chile and South Africa, who put up a really exciting exhibition of aggressive hockey. With less than a minute remaining in the game, Chile scored from a penalty corner to take all three points and give their Nations Cup campaign new life. Somehow the match was on its way to a tie.
After the following rest day, all teams resumed play on the final day of group stage matches on December 14.
Match 1: Italy defeats Ireland 2-1
Ireland and Italy routinely face off against one another at the continental level, and the first half of the match demonstrated this. Both teams failed to break down their opponents’ defenses, which resulted in an equitable distribution of possession between the teams.
The impact of Ireland’s switch to utilizing the wings to advance the ball in the second half as opposed to the center of the field was immediate. Ireland captain Kathryn Mullan served as the primary motivator for her team’s assaults, which led to many occasions when Italy were taken by surprise. She set up the first goal, which Naomi Carrol deflected in, and scored Ireland’s second goal with a spectacular move through the defense that ended with a flick over the advancing goalie and into the net.
Match 2: Spain defeats Korea 3-0
Spain is demonstrating that they are quite quick to get going, scoring after just 110 seconds against Ireland in their opening encounter yesterday and another 40 seconds against Korea. The squad exploded out of the gate, getting 5 shots on goal in the first quarter, in response to the fervor of the Spanish fans who had packed the stadium. With a strong effort from the right of the circle that deflected off the far post, Florencia Amundson scored the opening goal. When Patricia Alvarez skillfully diverted a Torres-Quevedo effort from the top of the circle beyond the Korean goalkeeper, they increased their lead by two goals.
Match 3: India and Japan at 1-2
India and Japan engaged in a tight and highly contested match that saw India prevail and maintain their lead at the top of the standings with 6 points, while Japan remained in second place with 3.
Match 4: South Africa defeats Chile 2-1
Chile narrowly defeated South Africa 1-0 in their earlier World Cup meeting. While that match was a plodding, defensive affair, the rematch in the Nations Cup was an end-to-end thriller that could have gone either way.
Spain 2022 FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup
Results for December 12, 2022
Finished: Game 1.
Italy loses to Ireland.
Kathryn Mullan won the match’s MVP award (IRL)
Umpires: Durga Devi, Ymkje van Slooten, and Natalia Lodeiro (URU) (IND)
Finished: Game 2.
Spain 1-3 Korea
Florencia Amundson won player of the game (ESP)
Magali Sergeant, Junko Wagatsuma, and Ana Faias served as the umpires (POR)
Finished: Game 3.
India 1-2 Japan
Salima Tete won the game’s MVP award (IND)
Umpires: Mariana Reydo (ARG), Ymkje van Slooten, and Xiaoying Liu (CHN) (NED)
Finished: Game 4.
Chile beat South Africa, 2-1.
Manuela Urroz won the game’s MVP award (CHI)
Vilma Bagdanskiene (LTU), Ana Faias (POR), and Kristy Robertson are the officials (AUS)