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  • Red-hot Hockeyroos through to quarter-final World Cup with victory over South Africa in Mariah Williams’ 100th game

Red-hot Hockeyroos through to quarter-final World Cup with victory over South Africa in Mariah Williams’ 100th game

The Hockeyroos have sealed their place in the quarter-finals of the FIH Women’s World Cup with another win in Spain.

The world number three defeated South Africa 2-1 in their final game in Pool D to set up a last-eight clash next Thursday morning (AEST) with the winner of the match between the team finishing second in Pool C and third in Pool C. Swimming pool B.

First half goals from Penny Squibb and Rosie Malone sealed the Hockeyroos’ third win out of as many games in what was Mariah Williams’ 100th international appearance.

“I’m really proud to have made 100 games…it took a long time,” said two-time Olympian Williams.

“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs with injuries along the way, but I stuck with it and couldn’t have wished for anything better than to make it in NAIDOC Week wearing the native kit.”

Needing a win or a draw to automatically advance to the last eight, the Hockeyroos took the lead in the eighth minute.

After Hockeyroos goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram blocked an early penalty corner, Squibb took advantage of Australia’s first penalty corner as the South African goalkeeper was unable to stop the defender’s drag from finding the back of the net.

The answer came quickly from the world’s number 16 and Lilian du Plessis sent a powerful drag of her own past Bartram five minutes later to even the scores. It was the Hockeyroos’ first goal in the tournament after previous 2-0 victories over Japan and Belgium.

The Hockeyroos take a team photo with balloons containing the number 100 .  spell
Mariah Williams said she was extremely proud to play her 100th game during NAIDOC week.Getty Images: Irina RH

In the 24th minute, Malone blasted to score her second goal of the tournament after Maddy Fitzpatrick’s well-directed drag flick landed on Malone, who had time to shoot home.

Australia had a chance to extend their lead early in the third quarter after 18-year-old striker and player of the match, Hannah Cullum-Sanders, was hindered in the attacking circle by a penalty stroke.

But to end her milestone game with a goal, Williams sent her shot low and wide from the goal.


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