In a big day where points matter, the USA came out firing with a two-goal game from Kathleen Sharkey. Unites States commanded there way to a 4-1 win over Germany, while China edged South Africa, 4-3, with a late goal from Wang Mengyu. England put Argentina to the test but were unable to get the three points. Carla Rebecchi drained a late one to keep Argentina in check, winning 2-1 over England.

WOMEN Pool B: United States v. Germany 4-1 (1-0)

Team USA made it four wins out of four at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup to maintain their fairytale charge for the semi-finals with a crushing 4-1 victory over European Champions Germany. Kathleen Sharkey netted a brace with Caroline Nichols and Katie Reinprecht also on target as the lowest ranked team in Pool B produced another remarkable performance against supposedly superior opposition to move within touching distance of their first semi-final berth since the 1994 event in Dublin, Ireland. Tenth-ranked USA now sit proudly on ten points, and know that even if they are defeated in their final Pool B game against South Africa there is still a strong chance that they will compete for the medals.

WOMEN Pool B: England v. Argentina 1-2 (1-1)

A goal scored in the last second of the match meant that world number three England still have no points in this Hockey World Cup. It was a game that started so well for the team seeking to restore some pride, but eventually Argentine tenacity paid off. Speaking after the game, coach Jason Lee said that it was unlikely that his squad would have a worse hockey experience than the one they are currently going through.

WOMEN Pool B: China v. South Africa 4-3 (2-0)

A last gasp goal from defender Wang Mengyu gave China a 4-3 win over South Africa, keeping alive their slim chances of claiming a place in the semi-finals of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands. The result puts China onto seven points, three points behind both USA and Argentina, two teams that have a vastly superior goal differences to their Chinese rivals going into the final round of matches. China’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals are now reliant on a massive victory over reigning World Champions Argentina and for USA to lose heavily against South Africa on Tuesday. Germany, South Africa and England are all out of the reckoning for the medal matches.

In the men’s games, as the qualification matches draw nearer we see Germany get the 3 points they needed to have any chance of staying alive for a semi-final appearance. Germany bested New Zealand 5-3 despite a hat-trick from Black Sticks flicker Andy Hayward. Results lie in the hands of the remaining games including Korea vs. Argentina (13:00 CET) and South Africa vs. Netherlands (19:45 CET).

MEN Pool B: New Zealand v Germany 3-5 (1-3)

Florian Fuchs got Germany off to a flying start by smashing the ball past Devon Manchester in the Black Sticks goal with just two minutes on the clock. This signalled the start of a German revival at this World Cup as they defeated the Black Sticks 5-3, but it still leaves the world number two team relying on a win by Korea over Argentina for the German side to progress through to the semi-finals. For the Black Stick’s Andy Hayward it was a bitter-sweet game as he scored a hat-trick, but still ended on the losing team.

MEN Pool B: Korea v Argentina 0-5 (0-3)

A stunning hat-trick from Gonzalo Peillat in the first 19 minutes of Argentina’s match against Korea and an innovative second half goal sealed Argentina’s status as a serious medal contender at this edition of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup. Argentina has ripped up the rule books in this tournament. Coach Carlos Retegui is doing the seemingly impossible job of guiding both the men’s and women’s teams to the semi-finals and the men come to this tournament with very little international match-play under their belts. Add in the small matter of an 11th-place FIH World Ranking and a classic tale of success against all the odds is beginning to unfold.

MEN Pool B: South Africa v Netherlands 1-7 (0-4)

Two goals from Robbert Kemperman and wave after wave of orange attacks on their goal was enough to consign South Africa to a 7-1 defeat. But the Lads did not go down without a fight and, while an upset was never really on the cards, the Netherlands still had to work hard against a stubborn resistance to ensure their fourth win and a massive goal advantage over the other teams in their pool.

For schedules, scores, highlights and more visit Rabobankhockeyworldcup2014.com.

 

Photograph: The only consolation in team sports is that you are never alone as Anne Schroder (l) consoles her team mate  Hanah Gablac after the lost their game to USA. (FIH/Frank Uijlenbroek (c))