Hockey: Scots keep Cup hopes alive

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The Independent Online
SCOTLAND'S 2-1 win against China, thanks to goals from Sue Fraser and Sue MacDonald, kept alive their faint hopes of a semi-final place in the women's World Cup in Utrecht yesterday.

Australia, the Olympic and defending world champions, with a convincing 3-0 win against Germany, who have been struggling since Britta Becker broke her thumb in their second game against South Africa, became the third team to claim a semi- final place alongside the Netherlands and Argentina.

After Rhona Simpson had missed a free shot at goal early on, Fraser gave Scotland the lead from their first penalty corner after 16 minutes. With the Chinese equalising in first- half extra time through Zhaoxi Chen, Scotland had to dig deep after the interval, which they did. They won with a penalty stroke midway through the period when Alison Grant was unceremoniously upended by the Chinese goalkeeper. MacDonald scored with aplomb.

England's teams were relaxing yesterday before their crucial pool games this afternoon. For the women only a win against New Zealand in their last pool game will give them a chance of remaining in the hunt for automatic qualification for the next World Cup and the Champions' Trophy.

The men, with two pool games to go, today against Australia and tomorrow against Malaysia, are slightly less precariously posed but need at least three points from the two games to keep in the hunt for their sixth place target.