New York: Germany beat Australia 1-0 to win through to the semi-finals in the last Pool A match of the women’s field hockey World Cup in Rosario, Argentina.
Germany meets Argentina and Netherlands play England in Thursday’s semi finals. Australia will play South Korea in the 5-6 classification match Friday.
Australia coach Frank Murray said Australia was beaten by a better team.
"We have a lot of work to do and I think that was obvious tonight because we were beaten by a much better team and they thoroughly deserve their opportunity to get into the final," Murray said.
After a scoreless first half, Germany pressure on Australia defence in the second half yielded four penalty corners.
Tina Bachmann’s converted Germany’s third corner chance low inside the left post for the only score of the match.
Australia had three poorly executed penalty corners.
Germany coach Michael Behrmann conceded the pressure on both teams to win. "Both teams were under big pressure as it was like a quarter final but we defended really strongly and in the end I think we deserved to win," Behrmann said.
Top ranked Netherlands scored five goals then lost concentration in the last five minutes to allow Japan two late goals.
Japan was not in the match from the second minute when Naomi van As beat four defenders in a long weaving run through the right to score.
Maartje Paumen added two penalty corner conversions to take her to nine corner goals from the pool matches.
Lidewj Welten then Kim Lammers added second half goals for Netherlands.
Kaori Chiba punished Netherlands lapse of concentration to drive in from the edge of the circle and win the scrimmage for possession in front of goal for Japan’s two late goals.
Netherlands coach Herman Kruis summarized the match.
"Our plan was to start with an early goal and we did that then put a lot of pressure on Japan for our second goal then in the second half we made two early goals, then the two goals at the end against us were very unfortunate," Kruis said.
Japan coach Zenjiro Yasuda is now focused on qualifying for the London Olympics at the Asian Games in China in November.
"After this tournament all 26 players in the squad will train together in preparation for qualifying for London in November," Yasuda said.
New Zealand won their first tournament match, defeating India 3-0 to take fourth place in Pool A and will go the 7-8 playoff next Friday against China.