CWG: Shootout stars England to face Australia in women`s hockey final
Glasgow: England will face Australia for the gold medal in the women`s hockey at the Commonwealth games on Saturday after they beat New Zealand 3-1 on a penalty shootout on Friday.
Defending champions Australia had earlier cruised into the final with a 7-1 mauling of South Africa.
The two sides have already met once in the competition already with Australia running out 3-0 winners in the group stages.
England keeper Maddie Hinch was the hero as she foiled penalties from Anita Punt, Katie Glynn and Stacey Michelsen to book her side`s place in a Commonwealth final for the first time since 2002.
In a tight game of few chances, Lilly Owsley`s goal just before the half hour mark looked to have England on course for victory.
However, Glynn brilliantly swept home Michelsen`s cross two minutes from time to send the game into a penalty shootout.
And goals from Georgie Twigg, Alex Danson and Susie Gilbert allied to Hinch`s heroics sent England through.
They will now face the winners of the gold medal in three of the four competitions since hockey was introduced to the Commonwealth programme.
Australia took their tally for the tournament to 32 goals in five matches in Glasgow by thrashing South Africa.
"I am very satisfied with the performance. Our ability, particularly in the second-half, to finish off our chances was excellent," said Australia coach Adam Commens.
"This team has come a long way from four years ago when we just battled through and in the end won a gold medal, which was a great achievement.
"But now we are really smashing sides so it shows the sky is the limit and we can really move on after this tournament."
South Africa coach Giles Bonnet, meanwhile, lamented his side`s inability to beat New Zealand in their pool earlier in the week which meant facing Australia in the semi-finals.
"Australia are a great team. We knew that from before and we wanted to avoid them," he said.
"We knew the New Zealand game was really important for us. We played well, but unfortunately we didn`t get the result and then you face Australia.
"When you look at the number of scoring chances, their conversation ratio is extremely high, they are very clinical."
After a tight start, Emily Smith put the Aussies in front and Kellie White quickly doubled their lead to send the reigning champions in 2-0 ahead at half-time.
White, Georgina Parker and Jane Claxton made it 5-0 after the break before Australia conceded for the first time in the tournament when Celia Evans turned home a consolation for South Africa.
However, normal service was quickly resumed as Parker slammed home her second of the game before Georgia Nanscawen rounded off the scoring.
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