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Fancied Netherlands beat South Korea 2-1 to win women’s HWL


Antwerp (Belgium):  World and Olympic champions The Netherlands lifted the Women’s Hockey World League Semifinals title trophy after rallying to prevail 2-1 over Asian Games gold-medallists South Korea in the summit clash here.

The Dutch women clinched the title through Ellen Hoog’s field goal three minutes from the hooter yesterday after the Koreans put up a good contest against the top-ranked team in the world.

The Koreans took the lead against the run of play on their first penalty corner. Captain Kim Jong-eun’s penalty corner shot was deflected by a diving Kim Bo-mi past goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek in the 34th minute.

The Netherlands came back strongly, but wasted seven penalty corners before Caia van Maasakker got it right to equalise in the 44th minute.

The title was still not in the Dutch grasp until Hoog shot on target in open play in the 57th minute.

World Cup silver-medallists Australia had to be satisfied with the bronze, which they secured with a 4-2 victory over New Zealand in the third-place playoff.

New Zealand had beaten Australia in their preliminary group encounter.

Australia surged into a two-goal lead by the time the game was four minutes old through Emily Smith and Jane Claxton.

Mariah Williams made it 3-0 in the 15th minute with another strike in open play, and the Black Sticks seemed out of depth despite the fine show last week.

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