AH&BC Amsterdam’s Sonja Zimmerman’s hat trick played its part as Germany’s women took another healthy step toward Olympic qualification as they topped Pool A in Ranchi.
It came on a day in which 16 hopefuls in the women’s tournaments reduced to eight contenders across the two events this week.
Die Danas saw off Czechia 10-0 to put them within one win of a ticket to Paris this summer. It added to a 3-0 success against Chile and a frustrating 1-1 draw with Japan.
As such, Nike Lorenz said it was “mission accomplished” as they found some rhythm.
“We just needed to have a little bit more fun. We were a little bit in our own heads after the last game [against Japan] and we needed this one to get out of our heads.”
They will now face India who finished second behind USA in Pool B.
In Valencia, meanwhile, Ireland completed an all-European line-up as they defeated higher-ranked Korea 3-1 in Valencia to earn them second place in Pool A.
Needing a draw or better, they made the main early moves but had to wait until the second half before going ahead through a diving Sarah Hawkshaw.
Deirdre Duke bundled in for 2-0 before Korea pulled one back but a Róisín Upton penalty stroke put them out of sight.
Captain Katie Mullan was thrilled by the performance: “It feels great we are very excited. This is the place we wanted to be in. I’m really proud of the girls tonight.
“It was another game and another job done. And we put in a brilliant performance. Everyone did their job and we are ready to go for the semi-final.”
They will face hosts Spain in the semis after they came back from 1-0 down in the final quarter to defeat Canada and win 5-1.
They trailed for a long time to an Anna Mollenhauer effort but Lucia Jimenez got them back on terms with 13 minutes to go.
Twins Sara and Laura Barrios scored two close-range goals in quick succession and Belén Iglesias extended the advantage to 4-1 with a fourth in a seven minute spell. Patricia Alvarez completed the scoring in the final minute.
The other semi-final in Valencia will also be an all-European affair with Great Britain scoring six times in the second quarter to beat Malaysia 8-1.
Belgium went even bigger with a 13-0 success over Ukraine with Ambre Ballenghien adding another five goals to her tournament total; she now has nine.
The winner of each of Thursday’s semi-finals will all earn a ticket to Paris in the summer while the losers will have one last chance in the third place playoff.
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