Holders Argentina, USA lead semifinal race in women`s World Cup

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 06, 2014, 22:48 PM IST

The Hague (Netherlands): Defending champions Argentina and the United States lead the race for semifinal spots in women`s hockey World Cup after posting impressive wins in Group B here today.

Argentina and the USA were heading the Group B standings with seven points each from three matches after Argentina outplayed Germany 3-0 and the USA posted a runaway 5-0 victory over China.

South Africa scored their first win in three outings when they handed down shock 4-1 defeat to 2012 Olympic bronze medalists England, who have now suffered three consecutive defeats.
Stamping their authority against the German defence, the Argentine girls surged ahead with a fourth-minute penalty corner conversion by Silvina D`Elia.

Noel Barrionuevo then converted a penalty corner in the 32nd minute and Carla Rebecchi scored in open play in the 45th minute to shatter the German hopes.

In the other match of the group, Katie O`Donnell scored three goals for the USA, who finished at the bottom of the 12-team competition at the 2012 Olympics.

She opened the scoring with an open play strike in the fourth minute. Michelle Vittese increased the American lead in the 10th minute before O`Donnell got back into the goal-scoring act with successive strikes in the 30th and 63rd minutes.

Kelsey Kolojejchick rounded off the America`s tally three minutes from the hooter. China and Germany had four points each from their previous two matches, but slipped a notch behind by failing to add any points today.

Four South African girls made an entry each on the score-sheet today as Kathleen Taylor, Sulette Damons, Shelley Russell and Dirkie Chamberlain shot on target to make it 4-0 before England pulled one back through Nicola White.