Emotions ran high on the second day of action at the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup. Head Coach to Chile, Sergio Vigil fought back tears as his team lined up for their first ever World Cup appearance; Eva de Goede was visibly moved as her dream of a fourth World Cup came true, despite months away from the game through injury.
On the pitch there was also no lack of drama.
New Zealand returned to international action with a solid 2-2 draw against China in the first match on the day – both teams are in Pool B, along with India and England who will compete on Sunday.
This was the first time the Black Sticks took to the field – with the exception of matches against Oceania neighbours Australia – since the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, so it was understandable that the team began tentatively.
The second half saw the Kiwis take the lead through Rose Tynan. In just her fourth senior match, Tynan showed skill and composure to receive the ball, turn and transfer the ball to her reverse and then fire past Liu Ping in the China goal.
At half-time China Head Coach Alyson Annan called for her team to win penalty corners. The team answered and three minutes into the second half, Zhang Ying sent a hard shot low into the New Zealand goal past Grace O’Hanlon. The ball took a deflection on the way, catching the keeper was caught off-guard.
China added to the scoreline through a second penalty corner. This time it was Gu Bingfeng who sent the shot into the same area. Her shot was hard, accurate and just high enough to evade O’Hanlon’s outstretched foot.
The momentum swung back and forth between the two teams but it was New Zealand who scored the all-important equalising goal in the 48th minute. Olivia Merry continued to show why she is a feared striker as she sent a penalty corner flying into the China goal.
The scores remained at 2-2 for the rest of the match, despite some close calls for both teams.
The second match saw Chile make their debut on the World Cup stage. Although the Diablas lost 1-4 to Die Danas, they won a lot of fans – both for their pacy play and for the passion shown by the team and their animated Head Coach.
The next match saw a masterclass in penalty corner striking from Agustina Gorzelany as Argentina broke down a resilient Korea defence to start their campaign in some style with a 4-0 win.
Later, defending champions Netherlands came up with a solid 5-1 win over Ireland, with two goals coming from Frederique Matla from penalty strokes.
The final match of the day saw the re-emergence of Australia and Japan, both of whom have not figured much on the international stage in recent months. It took until the 56th minute for a breakthrough to come as Australia finally made goalmouth pressure count to register a 2-0 win.
July 2 Results
New Zealand 2, China 2
Player of the Match: Hope Ralph (NZL)
Germany 4, Chile 1
Player of the Match: Charlotte Stapenhorst (GER)
Argentina 4, Korea 0
Player of the Match: Maria Granatto (ARG)
Netherlands 5, Ireland 1
Player of the Match: Sabine Plonissen (NED)
Australia 2, Japan 0
Player of the Match: Mariah Williams (AUS)