Commonwealth Games 2014: England reach women's hockey final after beating New Zealand in shoot-out

Goalkeeper Maddie Hinch provides heroics, saving twice in the shoot-out

Penalties and England have not always been happy bedfellows in sport but the women’s hockey team ensured an alternative ending with a thrilling semi-final victory over New Zealand on Friday.

England were just two minutes away from the gold-medal match against Australia, following a goal by Lily Owsley, only for an error by captain Katie Richardson-Walsh to allow Katie Glynn to reverse the ball into the net from a cross by Krystal Forgesson.

As the match went to penalties, it was goalkeeper Maddie Hinch who provided the heroics, saving twice in the shoot-out, including a final attempt by Stacey Michelsen.

A delighted Hinch said: “I’m really pleased but it’s a massive team effort. The girls had to score in the first place and I knew I just had to stop a few and we’d win.” Richardson-Walsh, meanwhile, bemoaned the fact that her team “always take it to the wire”. She added: “It’s all thanks to Maddie. When it went to penalties we knew we’d practised them and  Maddie is the best keeper in the world at penalties.

 

“I’m just angry for my mistake in marking my player in the circle. It was just a loss of concentration.”

The players know that they will need to raise their game markedly in order to trouble the highly-rated Australians in today’s final. The Australians looked in particularly dangerous form as they hammered South Africa 7-1 in their semi-final on Friday.

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