Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand all qualified to the Olympics from their performance at the second semi-final event for the 2014-15 Women’s Field Hockey World League. The event doubled as an Olympic qualifier for teams which have not qualified from their continental championships. The top 3 from this event qualifies to the Olympics. Given the results from the two semifinals Argentina, fourth place in the first semi-final has now also booked its spot to the Olympics. The second semi-final event was a 10 team tournament held in Antwerp, Belgium from June 20th to July 4th 2015.
The group stage was mostly predictable though the biggest upset came between the two Oceanic rivals Australia and New Zealand. After a first half in which no team scored New Zealand was able to score two goals from Anita Punt and Ella Gunson to win the match 2-0 and ultimately the entire group.
The quarterfinals went as expected though South Korea needed a penalty shoot-out to defeat Belgium. Since South Korea are the Asian champions that meant the other three semi-finalists, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand all qualified to the Olympics along with fourth place finisher, Argentina from the first semi-final event.
Using the lack of pressure South Korea was able to hold on to a 1-1 tie against New Zealand in the semi-finals, forcing a penalty shoot-out which South Korea won 4-2. South Korea met Netherlands in the finals where a goal by Kim Bo-Mi gave South Korea a lead against the world number one ranked team. The upset however was not meant to be as Netherlands was able to score two goals to win the tournament 2-1. In the third place match Australia was able to get revenge from their group stage loss as they defeated New Zealand 4-2.
As there are several continental championships remaining and since they take priority over the World League results all is not over for the teams that finished fifth or even sixth, though a lot of things must go their way. Between the two semi-final events the next three nations that could benefit from reallocation are the United States, India and Japan.
- South Korea
- New Zealand
- FIH. 2014-15 World League Semi-final (Belgium) Results. Access on July 5 2015.