The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dutch, Aussies unbeaten after Round III

Perth: The Netherlands and Olympic champions Australia emerged as the only unbeaten teams in pool B of the womenís hockey World Cup after three rounds here on Wednesday.

Spain, England and Japan have 4 points each, USA 3, South Africa 1 and Ireland are still seeking that elusive win.

England surprised The Netherlands with an early goal, Leisa King getting a deflection past Clarinda Sinnige but the Dutch came back with two goals to win 2-1.

Hilary Rose in goal at the other end kept England in the match. Rated the best goalkeeper in the world by Ric Charlesworth, Rose made three difficult saves but had no answer when 2-on-1 with Minke Smambers and Karlijn Petri and no defenders. Smambers drew Rose and Petri slammed the pass into the open net for the equaliser.

Ageeth Boomgaardt converted the fourth penalty corner for the Dutch with a drag flick assisted on its way into the net by a deflection from Englandís Helen Richardson.

In an earlier match, Australia made it three wins out of three with a hard-earned 2-1 win over plucky Ireland.

A spectacular backstick shot from Katrina Powell proved decisive for the hockeyroos, who had earlier opened the scoring with a Karen Smith strike from a penalty corner.

In other matches, Japan battled back from a goal down to upset 11th-seeded US 2-1 in another pool B game.

A lucky Kristen McCann goal on 14 minutes put the Americans into the lead.

But Japan battled back and secured an impressive win courtesy of two goals from Kaori Chiba, pouncing on an error by American goalkeeper Peggy Storrar to make it 1-1.

Chiba capitalised on indecision in the US defence for the winner, connecting with a loose rebound from a Sachimi Iwao free-hit to deflect a flick into goal.

In another match, Spain beat South Africa 3-1.Nuria Morena carving through the midfield unopposed, drew Caroline Birt out from South Africaís goal to set up 17-year-old Maria Ramagosa to tap in Spainís first goal and her second of the tournament.

Spain took a two-goal lead into the break when Raquel Huertas latched onto a loose ball in the circle, flicking high into goal six minutes before the break.

South Africa pressured Spainís goal after the break but the Spaniards weathered it and replied with an individual goal by Nuria Camon, driving into the circle from the left, drawing Caroline Birt and flicking in to the empty goal from in front.

Pietie Coetzee kept up her average of a goal in every international ó 128 goals, 127 caps ó scoring with a drag flick from South Africaís fourth penalty corner. (AFP)

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