The Hague: Reigning Olympic gold medallists The Netherlands outplayed defending champions Argentina to set up a women?s hockey World Cup title encounter with Australia.
Netherlands hammered Argentina 4-0 in the semifinals at the Kyocera Stadium here last night to earn a shot at the title against two-time champions Australia, who entered the final with a 3-1 win in the shootout against United States after the two teams were tied 2-2 in regulation period.
The women?s final will be played on Saturday.
Argentina had won two of the previous three World Cup titles, but lacked the speed and thrust to trouble the dominant Dutch on their home turf.
Argentine star Luciana Aymer played despite the hamstring injury that had kept her out for the past several games.
Netherlands surged ahead in the 10th minute when Xan de Waard scored with a firm reverse hit into the boards.
Aartje Paumen increased the lead with a penalty corner conversion in the 16th minute, and Kim Lammers made it 3-0 in the 22nd minute after which Argentina just could not recover the lost ground.
Lammers returned to round off the scoring in the last minute of play.
In the other last-four encounter, Kellie White, Goergie Parker and Jodies Smith Kenny scored for Australia in the shootout.
Australian goalkeeper Rachael Lynch conceded a goal to Kelsey Kolojejchick, but thwarted Katie O?Donnell, Paige Selenski and Michelle Kasold.
The fifth attempt in the shootout was not needed as Australia had already secured a two-goal advantage.
USA twice rallied after falling behind in regulation period to take the contest into extra-time and then into the shootout.
Australia took the lead two minutes before half-time courtesy Kellie White.
USA made it 1-1 in the 48th minute with a field goal by Kolojejchick, but Australia went ahead again four minutes later.
Pressing hard, USA drew parity again just two minutes from the hooter with Kolojejchick`s second open field strike.
Earlier, Olympic bronze medallists England averted the bottom spot among 12 women teams at this tournament when they prevailed 2-1 in the shootout against Belgium.