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Black Sticks Women qualify for World Cup

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/06/2017 Angelo Risso

The Black Sticks Women are through to next year's World Cup, securing their place with a 2-0 victory over Italy in the World League Semi Final quarter-final.

It was a clinical performance from the Kiwis in Brussels, with an early goal from Samantha Harrison setting the tone before Samantha Charlton put the match to bed with a thunderous second-half effort.

Try as they might, the Italians could not breach Sally Rutherford's goal.

With their semi-final berth at the World League Semi Final, the Black Sticks Women automatically qualify for next year's World Cup in England.

Five automatic berths for the World Cup were available at the tournament, with the Kiwis sealing a spot with their guaranteed top-four finish.

They'll play either Netherlands or Spain in Saturday's semi-final, and Kiwi head coach Mark Hager said he couldn't be prouder.

It was also an excellent run-in for November's World League Final on home soil in Auckland, at which the Kiwis have already qualified as hosts.

"It's fantastic to qualify for the World Cup at the earliest opportunity. That was the number one thing for us to tick off here," Hager said.

"We were finally able to put away some goals, which was pleasing - we continue to create plenty of chances and just need to polish the finishes."

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