FIH Pro League Women's Standings as of April 4

April 04, 2019, 1:45 p.m. (ET)

As another month of FIH Pro League competition has finished, the standings on the women's side of the FIH Pro League are far from complete. There are 44 more match-ups that need to take place before the final four are established for the FIH Pro League Finals.

Here's a look at match-ups from the past two weeks as well as where the competing countries stand.


 5  - 


China avenged February’s 2-0 away defeat at the hands of New Zealand in Christchurch by recording a superb 5-3 victory over the Black Sticks in front of another excitable crowd at the Wujin Hockey Stadium in Changzhou.

 

Goals from Player of the Match Cui Qiuxia, Zhang Xiaoxue and Gu Bing Feng established a commanding 3-0 lead for China before a breathless final nine minutes in which New Zealand come agonizingly close to producing a remarkable comeback, twice getting to within one goal of the home side before China eventually prevailed. The result - which came a day after China lost 1-0 to Argentina in the same stadium - leaves New Zealand sitting in fifth position in the FIH Pro League standings, while China remain in seventh position.A delicately balanced opening quarter saw both sides create chances, but it was home favorites No. 10 China who took a 1-0 advantage into the quarter time break thanks to Cui Qiuxia’s diving penalty corner deflection in the ninth minute.

 

That lead was doubled four minutes into the second period when Zhang Xiaoxue drilled a low, powerful shot into the bottom left corner, finishing off an impressive passing move after No. 6 New Zealand defender Ella Gunson gave away possession deep in her own territory. China had two gilt-edged chances to put the game beyond the reach of the Black Sticks, with Zhong Jiaqi and Zhang both hitting the side of the New Zealand goal before Ye Jiao produced a stunning save to keep China’s two goal lead intact, diving athletically to her right to force Shiloh Gloyn’s goal-bound deflection around the post.

 

The crowd packed into the Wujin Hockey Stadium were treated to a thrilling and remarkable final quarter that featured five goals. China extended their lead to 3-0 in the 51st minute thanks to a glorious, high penalty corner drag-flick from Gu Bing Feng, before New Zealand scored twice in quick succession through penalty corner efforts from Stacey Michelsen and Shiloh Gloyn to bring the Black Sticks back into the contest at 3-2.

 

The two sides traded blows again to take the score to 4-3, with China’s Guo Qiu and Rose Keddell of New Zealand hitting the target. The result was sealed when China won a penalty corner in the dying seconds of the match, with Gu claiming her second goal of the contest by drag flicking into a New Zealand net that was without a goalkeeper. Shot-stopper Sally Rutherford had been replaced with an outfield player in a last-ditch effort to salvage something from the fixture.




 1  - 
  5 SO 4  


USA women battled to a 1-1 draw against high-flying Belgium before claiming the bonus point by winning the shootout on a dramatic night of FIH Pro League action at the Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa.

 

A fourth quarter penalty corner conversion from USA’s Danielle Grega cancelled Alix Gerniers fifth minute opener and forced the shootout, with goalkeeper Kelsey Bing producing a Player of the Match performance to help USA claim the bonus point and record their best FIH Pro League result to date.

 

No. 13 Belgium came into the match against host nation No. 12 USA looking for a third successive victory ‘on the road’, hoping to add to the back-to-back successes they achieved in Oceania against New Zealand and Australia early in February. A high-quality display in the opening period at the Spooky Nook Sports only served to increase the likelihood of a similar outcome, with Alix Gerniers giving the Red Panthers a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute when she touched home a clever backhand pass from Ambre Ballenghien.

 

USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing was certainly the busier of the two in the first period, but that all changed in a second quarter largely dominated by the home favorites. Erin Matson, Kathleen Sharkey, Amanda Magadan and Lauren Moyer all went close to scoring, but could find no way past the ever-impressive Aisling D’Hooghe in the Belgian goal.

 

Belgium preserved their narrow advantage throughout the third quarter and had the better of the scoring opportunities in that period, although Lien Hillewaert’s goal line clearance from a USA attacking penalty corner was vital to maintaining the status quo.

 

The only goal of an action-packed final quarter went the way of USA, who snatched an equalizer in the 50th minute with a penalty corner won by the quick hands of Mackenzie Allessie, with Danielle Grega scoring her third goal of the FIH Pro League by tapping in a pass from Caitlin Van Sickle. Belgium came closest to a winner in the latter stages of the game with Barbara Nelen, Jill Boon and Pauline LeClef going close before the final horn sounded, meaning that the teams would face a shoot-out to decide who would claim that all-important bonus point.

 

The shootout competition was one of the nerviest yet seen in the FIH Pro League, with advantage swinging back and forth through nine tense rounds before the result was finally settled. Amber Ballenghien’s miss in sudden-death allowed Linnea Gonzales to score the winning goal, giving USA a 5-4 win in the shoot-out thanks largely to a brilliant goalkeeping performance from Player of the Match Kelsey Bing..



 1  - 


The opening two quarters of the No. 4 Argentina against No. 10 China women’s match were far closer than home fans would have liked, with the Asian giants frustrating Las Leonas in first 30 minutes. The hosts created the better of the scoring opportunities but could not find a route past Ye Jiao, a goalkeeper who has impressed throughout the inaugural edition of the FIH Pro League.

 

Argentina, who continue to miss talismanic attacker Delfina Merino through injury, scored what proved to be the winning goal in the third quarter, and it was a strike worthy of winning any match. Silvina d’Elia saw her initial penalty corner flick blocked before producing a moment of inspired brilliance, touching a high ball into space and cracking a backhand half-volley into the bottom right corner to break the deadlock. Agustina Albertarrio wasted an excellent opportunity to double the advantage late on, but it mattered little as the defensively outstanding Argentina comfortably claimed another three points.

 

Remarkably, it is now 266 minutes since Argentina last conceded in the FIH Pro League, having recorded four successive clean-sheet wins since a 34th minute strike from Dutch ace Pien Sanders saw Las Leonas lose 2-1 against the Netherlands in Buenos Aires on 24 February. 

 

 


 1  -  3 


The third match of a three game FIH Pro League day took place at the Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa., where No. 12 USA hosted Olympic champions No. 2 Great Britain. The home favorites made the first impression on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter, with Mackenzie Allessie adding the finishing touch to a well-rehearsed penalty corner routine.

 

USA’s lead lasted just five minutes, with Lily Owsley producing a cool body swerve to move past American goalkeeper Kelsey Bing to restore parity at half time.

 

Owsley made two significant contributions in the third period, providing the assist for Emily Defroand to score from close range before getting a crucial touch on a penalty corner as Great Britain established a 3-1 lead that proved to be enough for all the points. It was Great Britain’s first win of the FIH Pro League and will give the team great confidence ahead of their upcoming meeting with Argentina in Rosario.


 

 

Per the FIH:

The following points will be awarded for each match:

  • Three (3) points to the winner in normal time
  • One (1) point to the winner of a shootout following a draw plus one (1) bonus point, making a total of two (2) points
  • One (1) point to the loser of the shootout, in the event of a draw
  • No points to the loser of a match in normal time

During the season up until the Grand Final, teams will be ranked in the FIH Pro League table by the percentage of points gained relative to the maximum number possible to have attained at any given time.

For example, a team who have played six matches can achieve a maximum of 18 points from winning all six matches. If they have achieved 9 points after six matches, they will be ranked in the league table based on a score of 50%. The aim of this system is to more easily illustrate team performances at the times in the season when different teams have played significantly different numbers of matches.